💡 Born in Roanne (France) in 1862, Joseph Déchelette carried out his scholarly research alongside his career as a captain of industry in textiles. After working as a young man in his native province of Forez, it was his research on Gallo-Roman ceramics and then on the fortified sites of the late Iron Age (from the excavations of the oppidum of Bibracte, in Burgundy) that earned him recognition from the scholarly world on a European scale. His unfinished Manuel d’Archéologie préhistorique, celtique et gallo-romaine, four volumes of which appeared from 1908 onwards, definitively established his European influence. Enlisted at his request in a fighting unit when he was 52 years old, he fell on the front line on 4 October 1914. The European recognition of the scientist was expressed in the many personal and official messages of condolence that followed his death. His professional activity had an important influence on his scholarly research, contributing to the originality of his outlook in an academic world usually more focused on its dear studies. In addition to his exceptional capacity for synthesis, which enabled him to truly invent protohistoric archaeology, his professional experience had indeed forged his conviction, original in the academic world, “that culture always follows in the footsteps of the economy and is maintained only at the price of exchanges: consequently, he was attached to the nature of relations between men rather than to their identity. ” In this way, he largely avoided the “culturalist” interpretation of archaeological data and the nationalist excesses that had prevailed in his time.
Brève bibliographie sur Joseph Déchelette
A short bibliography about Joseph Déchelette
BINETRUY, Marie-Suzanne – De l’Art Roman à la Préhistoire, des sociétés locales à l’Institut, itinéraires de Joseph Déchelette. Lyon : LUGD, 1994
GEORGES, Vincent ; GROSBELLET, Bernard (dir.). – Mélanges d’archéologie roannaise en écho à Joseph Déchelette. Roanne : Les Amis du Musée et de la Médiathèque, 2015 (Histoire et Patrimoine de Roanne et sa région ; 21)
LEWUILLON, Serge – Déchelette, Joseph. In : Sénéchal, Philippe; Barbillon, Claire (dir.) — Dictionnaire critique des historiens d’art actifs en France de la Révolution à la Première Guerre mondiale. Paris : INHA, 2010. Notice publiée en ligne.
MEES, Allard W. ; SCHÖNFELDER, Martin – Joseph Déchelette (1862-1914) und die Entstehung einer deutsch-französischen Forschungstradition in der Archäologie. Mainz : Römisch-Germanischen Zentralmuseums, 2014.
PERE-NOGUES, Sandra (dir.) – Joseph Déchelette : un précurseur de l’archéologie européenne. Arles : Errance, 2014
PERE-NOGUES, Sandra (dir.) – La construction d’une archéologie européenne (1865-1914), colloque en hommage à Joseph Déchelette, Roanne. Drémil-Lafage : Mergoil, 2019 (Archives & Histoire de l’Archéologie (AHA) ; 1)