Mixed research unit Archéométrie UMR 5138

Archeometry and archaeology: origin, dating and material technologies

Sciences humaines et humanités

Address :
Université Lyon 2 Maison de l'Orient et de la Méditerranée
7 Rue Raulin
69365 Lyon cedex 7
Phone :
04 72 44 58 97
Fax :
04 78 69 82 31
On the Internet :
External affiliation(s) :
Université Lumière Lyon 2


Staff MATTHIEU POUX (Directeur d'Unité de recherche)

Research topics

UMR 5138 (mixed research unit) was set up in 2001 and is called "Archeometry and archaeology: origin, dating and materials technologies". It was created with a view to boosting the archeometric potential of the Lyon region and to develop joint programmes between the Laboratoire de Céramologie [Ceramology laboratory], the Centre de Datation par le Radiocarbone [Carbon-dating centre], and the Earth sciences UFR (training and research unit).

The UMR then gradually grew thanks to the creation of a regional archaeology team, which enabled the Centre de recherche préhistorique Rhône-Alpes de Valence [Rhone-Alpes and Valence prehistoric research centre] to be attached, and agreements to be signed with the French ministry for culture and the INRAP (underway).

The UMR is currently extending its research activities to cover a regional, national and international area, for both archaeology and archeometry. The various UMR are involved in a large number of countries: Algeria, Bulgaria, Egypt, Greece, Italy, Lebanon, Libya, Poland, Portugal, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine.

UMR 5138, "Archeometry and archaeology", brings together pre-history specialists, archaeologists for the Gallo-Roman and medieval periods, sediment and petrography geologists, physicists and chemists specialised in the analysis of materials and carbon 14 dating. The work of the UMR relies on analytical equipment from the Ceramology laboratory and the Carbon dating centre and on the competences of its archaeology teams. The databases for analysing ceramics and carrying out carbon dating that have been regularly abandoned over the past twenty years form an excellent and internationally recognised scientific tool.

The activities of the various components complement each other and combine three main areas of research for which teams have been set up:
1 / "Properties and use of raw materials - History of techniques" (managers: E. Debard and A. Schmitt),
2 / " Production, distribution, sale" (manager: S.Y. Waksman),
3 / "Archaeology in the Rhône-Alpes region" (managers: N. Reveyron, A. Desbat).
The UMR has also taken on three Group Research Actions (co-funded by the CNRS, the French ministry for research and INRAP): one deals with the "church space in the Middle Ages" (manager: A. Baud); one looks after "common Gallo-Roman ceramics in the Rhône-Alpes region" (manager: C. Batigne Vallet); and the third one is concerned with "The great Chasséen terrace sites in the Rhone area." (Manager: A. Beeching).