Jean-Jacques de Morgan (1857-1924 [1]) was a French mining engineer [2], geologist and archaeologist he was the director of Antiquities in Egypt during the 19th century [3], and excavated in Memphis and Dashur, providing many drawings of many Egyptian pyramids. He also worked at Stonehenge, and Persepolis, and many other sites.

He also went to Russian Armenia, as manager of a copper mine at Akhtala, "the Caucasus is of special interest in the study of the origins of metals; it is the easternmost point from which prehistoric remains are known; older than Europe and Greece, it still retains the traces of those civilizations that were the cradle of our own"

Jacques de Morgan in 1887-89 unearthed 576 graves around Alaverdi and Akhatala, near the Tiflis-Alexandropol railway line. [4]

Background Edit

His father Eugeàne, also called "Baron" de Morgan, was an engineer in mineral findings, his interests were in entomology and prehistory. He named his two sons, Henry, the older one, and Jacques, they later got into fieldwork, excavating with them the Campigny faults near Rouen, which had lent its name to the first phase of the European neolithic. With his father Jacques became acquainted with Gabriel de Mortillet, who was connected with the museum of national antiquities in Saint-Germain during investigations of Merovingian cemeteries, showed him how to catalogue excavated objects. De Morgan goal was to be a professional geologist like his father, and his personal lifestyle had given him a way to travel and study since his early youth. In 1879 he started to publish the results of his research, illustrated with drawings that were great for their finesse and documentary precision.


De Morgan's project was at a halt in Susiana, where he attempted to retrace the routes of the Assyrian campaigns in Elam. He stayed for a long time in Susa, from where the expedition led by Marcel Dieulafoy who departed six years before. In the field of ruins his curiosity was particularly by the high mound known as the "citadel," located at the foot of where he recovered flints and some old potsherds.

These findings were decisive in leading him to reopen excavations at the site. In Tehran he confided in the French minister, Rene‚ de Balloy, who was eager to obtain for France a monopoly of archaeological research in Persia. It took time, however, before these efforts, under de Morgan's guidance, were successful. In the meantime he published his Mission scientifique en Perse, with four volumes of geological studies; two volumes of archaeological studies on tombs and other monuments that were still seen; one volume dedicated to Kurdish dialects and the languages of northern Persia; one volume of Mandaean texts; and two volumes of geographical studies.

The excavations at Susa were headed by Jacques de Morgan in 1897 and went on by others until the outbreak of World War I they uncovered among many discoveries eight perforated plaques, three of them whole or nearly, about and the rest fragmentary. [5]

References Edit

  1. The Experience of Ancient Egypt - Page 137 by Ann Rosalie David
  2. Satellite Images and Near Eastern Landscapes, by Nicholas Kouchoukos p.80
  3. Who Was Who in Egyptology ... - Page 82 by Warren Royal Dawson
  4. A History of Armenia by Vahan M. Kurkjian, p.8
  5. Dating the Early Dynastic Votive Plaques from Susa, by Suzanne M. Pelzel P. 1

Bibliography Edit

  • Idem, "Exploration dans la presqu'île malaise. Moeurs, coutumes et langages des Negritos Sakayes et Seumangs,"
  • L'humanité préhistorique: esquisse de préhistoire générale

External links Edit

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