Archaeology at the DRAC of Corsica
Under the authority of the Regional Prefect and the Regional Director of Cultural Affairs, the Regional Archaeology Service (SRA) is headed by the Regional Curator of Archaeology. He is responsible for implementing the regulations on archaeology inscribed in book V of the Heritage Code.
In the Corsican region, its field of action extends from the first traces of human presence, around 8500 B.C. to the sub-current period.
It is divided into several missions:
- Inventory : the census is the preliminary work to prevent threats to archaeological sites and remains, to ensure the management of field research and the study of archaeological heritage. For this purpose, the sites and remains of the two departments are listed. They feed the database PATRIARCHE computer support of the "archaeological map" of Corsica.
- Study The service is legally responsible for coordinating all research activity in the region. Within the regulatory framework of the Heritage Code, it investigates excavation authorizations and issues ad hoc authorizations for diagnostics and surveys. It conducts research and intervenes on the ground as needed.
- Protect : The protection of sites and remains is the constant concern of the service that systematically intervenes in the processing of urban planning documents and land urbanization requests. It also instructs impact studies of developments and major works. It collaborates with the service in charge of Historical Monuments for the legal protection of archaeological sites.
- Promote : The service ensures the dissemination and promotion of research. This policy can be divided into several specific or permanent actions (exhibitions, national archaeology days, European heritage days, publications, congresses, seminars, etc.) and is characterized by a willingness to collaborate with all regional partners. It supports regional archaeological publications. It publishes the Regional Scientific Review, which reports annually on the results of archaeological operations.
The actors and partners of archaeological research in Corsica belong to different institutions: the Ministry of Culture, the National Institute of preventive archaeological research, the Ministries of National Education, Higher Education, Research and Innovation, and their institutions (CNRS, universities), local authorities, associations.
Regional Archaeology Service
Villa San Lazaro
1, chemin de la Pietrina
20704 Ajaccio Cedex 9
Tel. 04 95 51 52 11
The Regional Archaeology Service is open to the public every day of 9am to 12pm and 2pm to 5pm. Service agents may be contacted by telephone during hours of service. It is desirable to make an appointment for an interview.
Activities and services
Every year, some sixty archaeological operations are carried out in Corsica. They are either part of preventive archaeology, upstream of spatial planning work, or part of planned archaeology, responding to a scientific research program defined at the national level. The State services authorize archaeology operations and are responsible for scientific and technical control.
Preventive archaeology aims to ensure the safeguarding of archaeological heritage when it may be threatened by public or private works or development projects. It does not object to the realization of works but it organizes the preliminary study of the vestiges when no other solution of implantation of the development does not allow to avoid that they are damaged. It can result in a diagnostic operation, and depending on the results, a search operation. These operations are carried out by INRAP or authorised or authorised operators.
The planned excavations are carried out at the initiative of a researcher on the basis of a scientific problem related to national programming. Land, air, geophysical and building surveys can also be carried out in this framework.
The planned excavations are subject to the control of the state which issues a prefectoral authorization after consultation of the commissions concerned.
Conservation and study centres
The purpose of conservation and study centres is to meet the new expectations for the management of archaeological furniture:
- Preventive conservation of archaeological furniture
- Accessibility of furniture and scientific documentation associated with researchers to facilitate their study
- Transfer of archaeological collections, with a view to their heritage development, to museums in France as part of the implementation of the regional development plan of the CEC.
Within the framework of the national policy of creation of the CEC, the DRAC of Corsica, in partnership with the Community of Corsica, has contributed to the upgrading of the archaeological repositories previously agreed upon, installed in the premises of the Museum of Corsican Prehistory and Archaeology of Sartene and the Museum of Aleria, for their transformation into a CEC. The construction of a third CEC in the Ajaccio region is in the works.
Reference Centre de Conservation et d'Étude (CCE) at
Corsica Regional Archaeological Service (SRA):
Missions of the Archaeological Service (SRA) of Corsica
Coordinate and administer research
The Regional Archaeology Service conducts the State’s policy of detecting and studying the regional heritage of interest to archaeology. It is assisted by an independent advisory body, the CTRA composed of researchers from all walks of life and competent on all scientific questions concerning archaeology. It provides scientific control of archaeological operations authorized (scheduled operations) or decided (preventive operations) by the State.
It coordinates regional policy on archaeological research in relation to the public institutions in the sector ( CNRS , universities, Inrap, local authorities). It prepares, instructs and monitors the annual planning of scientific, administrative and budgetary research.
Research is part of the national archaeology programming.
Develop and update archaeological inventory
The regional archaeological map gathers and orders the available data relating to the heritage of archaeological interest. The service feeds for this purpose a national database (Patriarch) which, for each site surveyed, provides topographical information (common, place-said, coordinates...) archaeological (vestiges, dating...) administrative (protection, excavations carried out...) and references of sources (bibliography, surveys...).
In constant evolution, the archaeological inventory restores a state of knowledge of the territory. It is both a research tool and a wealth management tool.
The archaeological map
The national archaeological map (C.A.N) ' collects and orders for the entire national territory the available archaeological data » (Art.L522-5) in the form of a computerized inventory. It is a tool for research and management of archaeological heritage that is enriched by the results of studies, prospections, diagnostics and excavations carried out at each new operation. It also bears the presumptive areas of archaeological prescription (ZPPA, consult the Heritage Atlas) that is, the areas within which planning requests must be forwarded to the SFA.
The realization of the archaeological map is a mission that the State (DRAC – Service régional de l'archéologie) carries out with the assistance of the Community of Corsica, public institutions and that of local authorities having archaeological research activities.
In Corsica, nearly 7000 archaeological entities are currently recorded with a heterogeneous distribution according to the topography, the state of knowledge and prospecting, etc. Some municipalities have more than 200 sites like Porto-Vecchio or Sartene.
To carry out these missions, three agents are placed under the authority of the Regional Curator of Archaeology.
Legislation on preventive archaeology is the main lever for safeguarding through the study of archaeological heritage. The fields of action in this field are of two kinds:
- Establish presumptive limitation zones ZPPA under preventive archaeology. These zonings require, in areas of particular archaeological sensitivity, the referral of the State for development projects whose surface area threshold is lower than that fixed by law.
- Prescribe preventive archaeology operations. These requirements shall be adopted when development work is likely to damage archaeological heritage. Preventive archaeology takes place in two stages: diagnosis and excavation. The diagnosis aims to recognize and characterize the remains present in the right of way of a development in order to determine the modalities of its consideration: conservation in situ or excavation. The excavation aims to answer a historical question about a period, a territory or a theme by ensuring, through the study, the preservation of elements of the heritage threatened with destruction.
- In order to know the situation of a site in relation to preventive archaeology, developers or petitioners, can request the realization of a diagnosis upstream of the development file this corresponds to the procedure of voluntary request for diagnosis.
Developers likely to encounter a preventive archaeology procedure will find below the documentation explaining the processes:
La demande peut être faite via le formulaire ci-dessous :
Quatre champs d’actions concourent à la protection du patrimoine intéressant l’archéologie :
- Participer au porter à connaissance de l’État pour les documents de planification du territoire
- Inciter au développement de réserves archéologiques et les soutenir
- contribuer à l’instruction scientifique des dossiers de protection au titre des Monuments historiques comportant une dimension archéologique
- Instruire les contentieux et engager les poursuites juridiques en cas de dégradation ou de destruction de vestiges, de fouille clandestine ou d’utilisation illégale de détecteurs
Les actions dans ce domaine s’exercent dans trois directions principales :
- Veiller à la conservation des sites archéologiques non protégés au titre des Monuments historiques
- Assurer la conservation des mobiliers archéologiques et des archives de fouille placés sous sa responsabilité.
La remise des mobiliers est soumise à un protocole régional décrit ci-après :
Les Bilans scientifiques régionaux (BSR) de l'archéologie en Corse
Chaque année, les services régionaux de l'archéologie (SRA) publient le bilan scientifique régional (BSR). Édité par la DRAC, celui-ci est destiné à assurer la diffusion rapide des résultats des travaux archéologiques de terrain conduits sur le territoire de chaque région.
Constitué de courtes notices des opérations de l’année, rédigées par leur responsable scientifique et classées par département, il s’ouvre sur une présentation synthétique des résultats les plus significatifs de la recherche archéologique régionale.
Le BSR s’adresse aux membres des instances chargées du contrôle scientifique des opérations archéologiques, aux archéologues, aux élus, aux maîtres d’ouvrage des projets d’aménagement, ainsi qu’à toute personne intéressée par les recherches archéologiques menées dans sa région.