National archaeological map
An archaeological heritage knowledge and management tool
What is the national archaeological map?
The national archaeological map is a mapped inventory of archaeological information on the national territory, from the origins to the present day.
It identifies and locates the archaeological operations carried out, the known sites and the regulatory protections to which they are subject (zones of presumption of archaeological prescription, inscriptions and classifications under historical monuments).
The national archaeological map is managed at the regional level by each regional archaeological service of the DRAC network. In the Pays de la Loire, it is enriched every day by two agents based on information transmitted by professional archaeologists via archaeological operations reports and by any citizen who transmits a declaration of archaeological discovery to the regional service of archaeology.
In constant evolution, the archaeological map restores a state of knowledge in a given territory.
She’s both a research instrument for archaeologists, a wealth management and decision tool for the DRAC and a information medium public.
What information can be found in the national archaeological map?
Two types of information are recorded in the national archaeological map, those relating to the knowledge of archaeological heritage and those relating to the protection of archaeological heritage.
You can learn about known sites and the protection measures they are subject to. Several protective measures can be implemented. The main ones are the presumptive areas of archaeological prescription and the protections under historical monuments (inscription and classification).
Under what media is the archaeological map made up?
Archaeological map exists in format paper and in format digital.
The archaeological paper map is commonly called "municipal files".
These are files classified geographically, by department and then by municipality. Each municipal file consists of three parts:
♦ a "general" file, consisting of the map and the list of sites listed on the commune and general documentation on the commune;
♦ a "protection" dossier, which brings together documentation on the protection of the municipality’s sites;
♦ a file for each archaeological site or entity (EA) identified in the municipality, which consists of an administrative component (prefectural decrees, letters...) and a scientific component (operations reports, photographs, bibliography...). The records of archaeological entities are identified by a number consisting in the following model: department number + INSEE number of the municipality + four-digit serial number generated by the computerized Patriarche database.
These records are kept at the DRAC, on the premises of the regional archaeology service.
The computerized version of the archaeological map is a national application called Patriarch for Archaeological Heritage, which operates using three computer applications: a database (DBMS), Oracle, associated with a geographic information system (GIS), Arcview 3 and a query software, Business Object.
The database is organized into five modules which, for the first three, are linked to a georeferencing:
- the “Archaeological Entities” module
- the “Operations” module
- the “Protection” module
- the "Documentary Sources" module
- the "Directory" module
Is the archaeological map searchable?
Municipal files and excavation reports can be consulted by the DRAC by appointment.
The computerized archaeological map can be consulted via the Atlas of Heritage published online by the Ministry of Culture and Communication. Four types of information are available online: archaeological entities, archaeological operations, and archaeological sensitivity zones and the presumptive archaeological prescription areas.
Why consult the archaeological map?
The archaeological map is made available to the public to restore to all knowledge acquired in the field of archaeology.
It is particularly useful for study firms and planners, whose spatial planning work may be the subject of preventive archaeological research prescribed by the State.
The archaeological map, which locates the presumptive areas of archaeological prescription, informs planners about the archaeological sensitivity of the sites and allows them to anticipate preventive archaeology prescriptions with regard to the economy and timing of their projects.
Archaeological heritage is a non-renewable cultural asset and its study requires specific skills.
Respect it, protect it, do not search or use metal detectors without authorization.
Are there archaeological maps other than the national archaeological map?
TheInrap and the local authorities, which together with the State contribute to the knowledge and enhancement of the archaeological heritage, have constituted or have the plan to develop their own archaeological map.
Unlike the exhaustive national archaeological map, archaeological maps only collect data from the territorial jurisdiction or jurisdiction of these bodies.
- To consult municipal files and excavation reports, please make an appointment with:Caroline GAILLARD – caroline.gaillard[at]culture.gouv.fr
Colette LETERREUX – colette.leterreux[at]culture.gouv.fr
- For any request for a list of archaeological sites of thematic or chronological order, please contact:
Caroline GAILLARD – caroline.gaillard[at]culture.gouv.fr
Colette LETERREUX – colette.leterreux[at]culture.gouv.fr
- If you have any questions about the Heritage Atlas and the GIS data provided by the DRAC Pays de la Loire, please contact:
Florent Dubillot - florent.dubillot[at]culture.gouv.fr
Tel. 02 40 14 28 01
Chaillou Thomas 2007 - A. Chaillou, J. Thomas, "The Patriarchal Application. National Archaeological Map Computer Inventory", Les Nouvelles de l'archéologie, 2007, p. 52-57.
Report to Parliament 2006 - Report to Parliament on the application of the law of 17 January 2001 as amended, chapter on the national archaeological map, pp. 51-60.
Fromentin Lauzanne Ropars 2006 - F. Fromentin, S. Lauzanne, A. Ropars, "The National Archaeological Inventory", in: Dabas et al. Prospecting. Paris, Errance (new revised and expanded edition), 2006.