List of Archaeological Sites

Since its foundation in 1890, the École Biblique is contemporary to the first archaeological excavations in Palestine. It has witnessed the development of scientific programs and the elaboration of field research disciplines. Father Joseph-Marie Lagrange, the founder who wanted to read the Bible in the country where it was born, had conceived his method of historical criticism by placing the Text on the archaeological context, and more broadly with orientalism as a background. His first concern was to discover the country in order to understand it better. Lagrange inaugurated the explorations that were one of the specialties of the School for fifty years (1890 – 1940).

In chronological order, one must mention, on behalf of the pioneers that were Lagrange, Séjourné, then Jaussen and Savignac, accompanied by the young Vincent and Abel. The exploratory journeys made with the students, the “biblical caravans”, were always the occasion of an archaeological and epigraphic harvest carefully reported in the Revue biblique.

The explorations:

1885-1892 : excavation of the grounds of the EBAF, to uncover the remains of the Byzantine basilica of Eudocia, with a view to its restoration.
1892 : Mâdabâ, archaeological and epigraphic prospection.
1893 then 1896 : Sinai, archaeological and epigraphic exploration.
1894 : Masada, topographical exploration.
1894 : Transjordan and South Lebanon, epigraphic prospecting.
1895 : Jordan Valley, archaeological and epigraphic prospection.
1896 then 1898 : Petra, archaeological and epigraphic exploration, in connection with the Académie des Inscriptions et belles-lettres, Paris.
1897 : Mâdabâ, examination of the Map of Mâdabâ, survey, colored drawing and publication. Several stays in Mâdabâ in the following years, with an ethnographic dimension.
1898 : Hauran, prospecting and epigraphic surveys.
1898 : Feinan (Punon, Phounon), discovery; prospecting and epigraphic surveys.
1899 : Tell Gezer, determination of the plan and boundaries, at the request of the Académie des Inscriptions et belles-lettres.
1900 : Philisty, archaeological and epigraphic prospection.
1904 : ‘Abdeh of the Negeb (‘Oboda/’Avdat), archaeological and epigraphic prospection, in connection with the Académie des Inscriptions et belles-lettres.
1908-early 1909 : Dead Sea, through the Dead Sea Cruise, archaeological, epigraphic, geographical and ethnographic mission.
1907, 1909, and 1911 : North Arabia, at the Hijaz, exploration, archaeological and epigraphic harvest with photographic coverage of the Nabataean sites of Medain Saleh, al-‘Ela, and Hereibeh by Jaussen and Savignac, in connection with the Académie des Inscriptions et belles-lettres.
1911 : Transjordan, the castles of the desert, architectural, epigraphic and iconographic survey, with photographs, in the wake of the Mission in Arabia.
1910 – 1913 : Jordan Valley, several trips of the students, allowing an archaeological and epigraphic harvest.
1911 : Jerusalem, Siloé Canal and underground passages, photographic coverage and systematic surveys for the English mission.
1914 : the Palestinian coastline, ports, geography and archaeological prospecting.
1914 : Palmyra, epigraphic and photographic mission for the Académie des Inscriptions et belles-lettres.
1915 : Aden, epigraphic records, by Jaussen.
1916 : islands of Rouad and Castellorizo, explored and photographed by Savignac.

Louis-Hugues Vincent followed all the excavation sites in the country, constantly seeking to make a chronological synthesis of them; he thus acquired an archaeological skill recognized by all. He is considered one of the founders of Palestinian archaeology.

With Félix-Marie Abel, L.-H. Vincent produced important monographs, architectural, archaeological, epigraphic and historical studies on major monuments:

1911 to 1930 : Jerusalem, the Old City and its surroundings, in several volumes.
1911 : Bethlehem, Basilica of the Nativity.
1920 : Hebron, Tomb of the Patriarchs.

Travel, exploration and prospecting resumed after the Great War, integrating young religious who had arrived in the 1930s, such as Roland de Vaux or Pierre Benoit, or Tonneau, Barrois and Carrière.

1921 and 1937 : Aïn Qedeis, archaeological prospecting, photographic survey.
1922 : Naby Samwil, the Crusader church.
1935 : Jebel Haroun, Petra, prospecting, photographs.
1935 : Tappuah, identification of the biblical site.
1938 : Salt Region, archaeological and epigraphic prospection.
1950 : Bethany, epigraphic examination of a cave covered with graffiti.
1993-1998 : Northern Jordan, exploration of Early Bronze age sites, with Spanish team.

Excavations were carried out, in a punctual way and on a modest scale:

1919-1921 : Aïn Douq, excavation of the Byzantine synagogue.
1921 : Nablus, excavation of a Roman hypogeum.
1921-1924 : Beit Djebrin, excavation of a Roman villa, at the request of the British Mandate Antiquities Service.
1924 : Khirbet Heleileh, excavation of a Byzantine church.
1924-1925 : Amwâs, Byzantine excavations around the medieval basilica.
1932 and 1934 : Wadi Ramm, excavations of the Nabataean temple, at the request of the Jordanian Antiquities Service, then the Académie des Inscriptions et belles-lettres.
1963 : Khân Saliba, a Byzantine hermitage.

Major archaeological excavations conducted by R. de Vaux, J. Prignaud, J.-B. Humbert
1915 : Eleonte, near Gallipoli, salvage excavation of a Hellenistic settlement.
1926 : Tell Neirab near Aleppo (Syria), excavation of late Iron age levels. Académie des Inscriptions et belles-lettres.
1944 : Abu Ghosh, caravanserai adjacent to the Crusader church.
1946-1960 : Tell el-Farʽah, 9 campaigns in Tirsa, capital of Israel before the Samaria.
1951-1956 : Khirbet Qumran, exploration of the caves from 1951, then 4 excavation campaigns of the Essene settlement, Antiquities Department of Jordan.
1952 : Wady Murabbaʽat, excavations of the Bar Korba Refuge, Antiquities Service of Jordan.
1956 and 1961-1963 : Jerusalem, at the southern foot of the esplanade of the mosques, Antiquities Department of Jordan, joint expedition with the British School of Archaeology.
1958 : Aïn Feshkha, excavation of a site in dependence of Qumran, Antiquities Department of Jordan.
1959-1976 : Holy Sepulchre, architectural restoration by Ch. Coüasnon, on behalf of the Custody of the Holy Land.
1971-1980 : Tell Keisan (Galilee), 8 campaigns, Iron age levels in Southern Phoenicia.
1981-1991 : Khirbet al-Samra (Jordan), a Roman then Byzantine settlement.
1986 : Mafraq (Jordan), soundings in an Umayyad palace.
1988-1989; 1991 and 1994 : Amman, the Citadel (Jordan), remains of a neo-Assyrian palace, joint project with Antiquities of Jordan.

Cooperation mission with the Palestinian Antiquities Service in Gaza :
Blakhiyah, 1995-1997; 1999; 2003-2005; 2012, Iron II age levels up to Roman times.
Abassan el-Kabir, 1997, restoration of a Byzantine hermitage.
Abu Barakeh, 1999 removal of a mosaic pavement.
Mkheitim (Jabaliyah), 1998 -2020, excavation of a Byzantine ecclesiastical establishment.
Nusayrat (Saint Hilarion Monastery), 2002 – 2020, systematic excavations and/or salvage excavations in cooperation with the Palestinian Service; restoration project 2018 – 2020.

2008-2009 : Jerusalem, Tomb of the Kings, monumental Herodian tomb.
2010-2011 : Jerusalem, crypt of the Church of St. John the Baptist, a late antiquity religious building, under the aegis of UNESCO.
2011 : Jerusalem, Mount of Olives, outbuildings of the Basilica of Eleona, under the aegis of the Consulate General of France in Jerusalem.
2013 : Saint-Étienne convent’s domain, salvage of Mameluk remains.