The great archaeological figures of the École biblique

 

Father Paul-Marie Séjourné

1857-1922, professor of Greek, historian, guide for the École’s first caravans, arrived in 1886

Co-founder and prior of St Stephen’s Priory in Jerusalem
Explorations in Transjordan
Archaeological chronicles in the Revue biblique: the Dormition (1899), the Mosaic of Hosn (1900), the Greek inscriptions of the Hauran (1898), Sinai (1897), etc.


Father Marie-Joseph Lagrange

1855-1938, exegete and historian of religions, arrived in 1890

Opened the École pratique d’études bibliques (Practical School of Biblical Studies) in 1890 in Jerusalem
Gathered a team of experts to deepen scholarly knowledge of the human context of the Bible (places of redaction, languages spoken, cultures, etc.)
Participated in the École’s first great explorations in Palmyra, Petra, etc.
Corresponding Member of the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres, 1903
Two books have been written on him :
Bernard Montagnes, Marie-Joseph Lagrange: Une biographie critique, Cerf, 2004, 625 pp.; Louis-Hugues Vincent, Le Père Marie-Joseph Lagrange, fondateur de l’École biblique et archéologique française de Jérusalem : sa vie et son œuvre, Paris, Parole et silence, 2013, 670 pp.

Major works :
La méthode historique, surtout à propos de l’Ancien Testament, Paris, Librairie Victor Lecoffre, 1903, 221 pp.
Many works in Oriental studies, including Études sur les religions sémitiques, Paris, Lecoffre, 1905, 527 pp.
Many exegetical works, in particular his four commentaries on the Synoptic Gospels and L’Évangile de Jésus Christ, Paris, Lecoffre-Gabalda, 1928, 656 pp.

Father Antonin Jaussen

1871-1962, ethnographer, Arabic philologist, arrived in 1890

First student and first professor at the École
Regent of Studies after Father Lagrange
Specialist on the nomadic tribes of Transjordan, whose dialects he spoke fluently

Major works :
Coutumes des Arabes au pays de Moab, Paris, Gabalda, 1908, 448 p.
Mission archéologique en Arabie, Paris, 1909-1914, 5 vol. en collaboration avec Raphaël Savignac
Coutumes Palestiniennes, Naplouse et son district, Paris, Geuthner, 1927, 364 p.

Father Louis-Hugues Vincent

1872-1960, archaeologist, historian and geographer, arrived in 1891

Pupil of Father Lagrange
Taught the Biblical archaeology course
Pioneer of archaeology in Jerusalem
Expert on excavations in Palestine
Corresponding Member of the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres and of the British Academy

Major works :
Canaan d’après l’exploration récente, Paris, J. Gabalda, 1907, 495 p.
Jérusalem, recherches de topographie, d’archéologie et d’histoire, Jérusalem nouvelle, Paris, J. Gabalda, 4 vol., 1914, 419 p. ; 1922, p. 421-1035 p. ; Jérusalem de l’Ancien Testament, 1954, 371 p.

Father Raphaël Savignac

1874-1951, epigraphist, Semitic linguist, photographer, arrived in 1893

Developed the use of photography in archaeology
Explorations in Syria, the epigraphy of Palmyra
Participated in expeditions to Northern Arabia before 1914

Major works :
Mission archéologique en Arabie, Paris, 1909-1914, 5 vol., avec Antonin Jaussen

Father Jean-Vincent Scheil

1858-1940, archaeologist, Assyriologist, at the École from 1895 to 1905

Museum curator in Cairo and Istanbul
Deciphered and published the Code of Hammurabi
Member of the French delegation in Iran (1898-1939)
Member of the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres, 1908

Major works :
Sixteen volumes of Mémoires de la délégation française en Perse, 1902-1939

Father Félix-Marie Abel 

1878-1953, archaeologist, historian and geographer, arrived in 1897

Organised numerous expeditions for the École
Studied the history of the site of Emmaus (excavations in 1932)
Expert on the archaeology of Jerusalem and historian of Palestine, with L.-H. Vincent

Major works :
Une croisière autour de la mer Morte, Paris, J. Gabalda, 1911, 188 p.
Grammaire du Grec biblique, Paris, J. Gabalda, 1927, 415 p.
Géographie de la Palestine, Paris, J. Gabalda, 2 vol., 1933 (515 p.) et 1938 (538 p.)
Histoire de la Palestine, Paris, J. Gabalda, 2 vol., 1952, 515 p. et 406 p.

Father Édouard Paul Dhorme

1881-1966, Assyriologist, Akkadian language and culture, arrived in 1899

Deciphered the Ugaritic language
Excavations at Eleonte (Dardanelles), 1915
Director of the École biblique from 1922 to 1931
Professor at the École Pratique des Hautes Études, Paris
Member of the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres, 1948
Professor at the Collège de France

Major works :
La religion assyro-babylonienne : Conférences données à l’Institut Catholique de Paris, Paris, J. Gabalda, 1910, 319 p.
Le livre de Job, Paris, J. Gabalda, 1926, 611 p.
La poésie biblique, Paris, Éditions Bernard Grasset, 1931, 212 p.
La littérature babylonienne et assyrienne, Paris, Presses Universitaires de France, 1937, 127 p.
Les anciennes religions orientales. Les religions de Babylonie et d’Assyrie : les religions des Hittites et des Hourrites, des Phéniciens et des Syriens, Paris, PUF, 1945, 433 p.
Mission archéologique de Mari, Paris, Librairie Paul Geuthner, 1956, 358 p.

Father Georges-Augustin Barrois

1898-1987, Archaeologist and Biblical scholar, arrived in 1925

Excavations at Neirab (Syria), 1926-27 with F.-M. Abel and B. Carrière
Excavations at Arslan Tash (Syria), 1928-29 with Thureau-Dangin
Excavations at Serabit el-Khadem (Sinai), 1930, American excavations

Major works :
Fouilles de l’École biblique à Neirab, Syria, T. 8 et 9, 1927-28
Arslan Tash, BAH, Geuthner 1931
Manuel d’archéologie biblique, T. I, 1939 et T.2, 1953, Picard, Paris

Father Pierre Benoit

1906-1987, exegete and theologian, arrived in 1933

Appointed by Father Lagrange to teach the New Testament
Director of the Revue biblique from 1953 to 1968
Historical topography of Jerusalem, with detailed visits to the excavations
Publication director for the Qumran Manuscripts, 1971
Director of the École biblique from 1966 to 1971
Participated in the translation of the Bible de Jérusalem

Major works :
Exégèse et théologie, Paris, Éd. du Cerf, 4 vol. (1961-1982), 253 p., 451 p., 446 p., 387 p.
Un siècle d’archéologie à l’École biblique de Jérusalem 1890-1990, Jérusalem, École biblique et archéologique française de Jérusalem, 1988, 52 p.
Synopse des quatre évangiles en français, Paris, Éd. du Cerf, 1990, 385 p.

Father Roland de Vaux 

1903-1971, exegete, historian, archaeologist, arrived in 1933

Taught the history and archaeology of the Bible
Director of the Revue biblique in 1938
Director of the École biblique from 1945 to 1965
Excavations at Ma’in, Abu Ghosh, el-Mamoudiyeh, and especially at Tell el-Far’ah (9 campaigns)
Put in charge of the excavations at Qumran in 1949 by the Department of Antiquities of Jordan
Publication director for the Dead Sea Scrolls
Excavations on the hill of the Ophel, working with Kathleen Kenyon
President of the board of directors of the Rockefeller Museum in 1966
Participated in the conception and translation of the Bible de Jérusalem
Independent non-resident Member of the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres

Major works :
Archaeology and the Dead Sea Scrolls, Londres, Oxford University Press, 1973, 142 p.
Histoire ancienne d’Israël, Tome 1, Des origines à l’installation en Canaan, Gabalda, 1971, 674 p. ; Tome 2, La période des Juges, 1973, 240 p.
Les institutions de l’Ancien Testament. I: Le nomadisme et ses survivances, institutions familiales, institutions civiles, Cerf, 1961, 355 p. ; II: Institutions militaires, institutions religieuses, 1967, 553 p.

Father Marie-Joseph Stève

1911-2001, archaeologist, Elamite epigraphy, arrived in 1944

Participated in the excavations at Tell el-Far’ah and Abu Ghosh during his time at the École biblique (1944-1950)
Director of the French Mission in Iran (excavations at Susa in the 1960’s)

Major works :
Fouilles à Qaryet el-‘Enab, Abu Ghôsh, Palestine, Paris, J. Gabalda, 1950, 162 p.
Fragmenta Historiae Elamicae : Mélanges offerts à M. J. Steve, Paris, Recherche sur les Civilisations, 1986, 290 p.
Syllabaire élamite : histoire et paléographie, Neuchâtel, Recherches et Publications, 1992, 172 p.
Il était une fois la Mésopotamie, Paris, Gallimard, 1993, 160 p.

Father Charles Coüasnon

1904-1976, architect of the Monuments historiques [national heritage], arrived in 1950

Participated in the excavations at Tell el-Far’ah and Qumran
Entrusted by the Custody of the Holy Land with the restoration works on the Holy Sepulchre in 1967
Restoration of the church of St Anne in Jerusalem, after the 1967 bombing, and of the monastery of Abu Ghosh, 1970

Major works :
“Analyse des éléments du IVe siècle conservés dans la Basilique du S. Sépulcre à Jérusalem”, Akten des VII. Internationalen Kongresses für Christliche Archäologie, 1965
The church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, Londres, Oxford Press, 1974, 64 p.

Father Jean-Baptiste Humbert

Born 1940, archaeologist, present director of the archaeology laboratory at the École biblique, arrived in 1973

Taught the archaeology course, 1977-2010
Excavations at Tell Keisan, Khirbet es-Samra, Mafraq, the Citadel of Amman, director of the Mission archéologique franco-palestinienne de Gaza, 1994.
Corresponding Member of the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres

Major works :
Tell Keisan (1971-1976), Une cité phénicienne en Galilée, Fribourg, Suisse, 1980, 400 p. et 143 pl. (avec J. Briend)
Fouilles de Khirbet es-Samra, Vol. I, La voie romaine, le cimetière et les documents épigraphiques,
avec A. Desreumaux, Brepols, 1998, 695 pages.
Fouilles de Khirbet Qumrân et de Aïn Feshkha, Vol. I, Album de photographies, , Fribourg (Suisse), 1994, 411 p. (avec A. Chambon). Vol. II, Études d’archéométrie et d’anthropologie, Fribourg (Suisse), 2003, 483 p. (avec Jan Gunnenweg). Vol. III, L’archéologie de Qumrân et Aïn Feshkha, fouilles du P. Roland de Vaux, Göttingen 2016, 536 p. (avec A. Chambon et J. Mlynarczyk)