[Distinction] The Mission archéologique à Paphos (MafaP) directed by Claire Balandier receives the label of the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres

At its confidential meeting on 16 February 2024, the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres announced the award of its Archaeology label for the years 2024 and 2025 to ten missions selected by the Archaeological Research Commission, which met on 9 February. These missions, recommended by the Consultative Commission for French Excavations Abroad of the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs, cover a vast historical period and are spread over five continents. They stand out for the importance of their discoveries and their future projects, thus contributing to the influence of French archaeology.

Among the winners of the label, the archaeological mission led by Claire Balandier in Paphos (Cyprus) is highlighted. Claire Balandier, a historian and archaeologist affiliated to the History and Sources of Ancient Worlds laboratory (HiSoMA, UMR 5189) and a qualified lecturer at Avignon University, is a specialist in Greek fortifications and town planning and the eastern Mediterranean in the Hellenistic period. In 2008, she and Eric Morvillez co-founded the French archaeological mission to (Nea) Paphos, a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1980.

The mission's work revealed that the town of Paphos, located on the south-west coast of Cyprus, was not fortified before the establishment of the Hippodamian plan, and its civic monuments do not seem to predate the 2nd century BC, when it became the Ptolemaic capital of the island. In the previous century, it was no more than a Ptolemaic military colony located near the port built at the end of the fourth century by the last local king.

This French archaeological mission is also a place for training in field archaeology, historical research and heritage preservation: every year, around fifteen undergraduate, Masters and PhD students in History from Avignon Université take part, supervised by young researchers including Manuel Tastayre and Eric Chabert, contract PhD students (ED 537) and Matthieu Guintrand, former student and ATER in History at Avignon Université, now a PhD student from ED 537 and archaeologist.

MafaP is taking part in the École française d'Athènes' five-year (2022-2026) research programme on fortifications.

>> To discover all the missions awarded the label by the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres 

>> Find out more about the archaeological mission in Paphos 

The Mission is funded by a grant from the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs, the École française d'Athènes and UMR 5189 HiSoMA.

For a summary of the first three MafaP research programmes, see :

For the first campaign (2023) of the 4ᵉ programme: summary of future results in the EFE Archaeological Bulletin and detailed report for the Excavation Commission posted on HAL hal-04476875v1 (previous reports can be consulted online on HAL, as well as a number of publications related to the results of the Mission on HAL, Academia.edu and Persée).

Three conferences were co-organised by the MafaP with the Department of Antiquities of Cyprus :

Cl. Balandier (ed.), Nea Paphos. Foundation and urban development of a Cypriot town from antiquity to the present day. Archaeological, historical and heritage studiesProceedings of the International Colloquium, in collaboration with the Department of Antiquities of Cyprus, Université d'Avignon et des Pays de Vaucluse, 30 October-1 October 2007er November 2012, éditions Ausonius, collection "Mémoires" n°43, Bordeaux, 448 p.

Cl. Balandier, D. Michaelides, E. Raptou (eds.), Nea Paphos and Western Cyprus. Proceedings of the 2ᵉ International Colloquium on Paphos held in Paphos, 11-15 October 2017.organised by the Department of Antiquities of Cyprus, the University of Avignon and the University of Cyprus, "Mémoires", Ausonius Éditions, Bordeaux, forthcoming.

The 3ᵉ programme, the proceedings of which are in preparation, can be viewed online.

Mots clés associés