Archaeology services at the Ministry of Culture
To ensure the management of the archaeological heritage entrusted to it, the Ministry of Culture has set up an administrative and operational network that covers all the French territory and all fields of archaeological discipline.
A central administration: the Archaeology Branch
Within the Directorate-General for Heritage and Architecture, the Archaeology Sub-Directorate consists of four offices:
• Archaeology Resource Office
• Office of Archaeological Operations and Operators,
• Archaeological Heritage Office
• the National Centre for Prehistory (CNP) office located in Périgueux, responsible for the design and conservation of the ornate caves.
Decentralized services: regional archaeology services
The Regional Archaeological Services (SRA) are under the authority of the regional directors of cultural affairs (Drac) and regional prefects who ensure the application of the legislation. They hear requests for authorization to search in connection with the territorial archaeological research commissions (CTRA).
Regional Archaeology Services:
• prescribe preventive archaeology operations and monitor and control their execution,
• oversee regional archaeological research,
• implement measures necessary for the protection, conservation and promotion of archaeological heritage,
• ensure the dissemination and exploitation of research.
A service with national competence: the Drassm
The Department of Underwater and Underwater Archaeological Research (Drassm) is based in Marseilles and reports to the Director-General for Heritage.
The Drassm is responsible for implementing legislation on maritime cultural property, that is, any property of prehistoric, archaeological or historical interest located in the maritime public domain or at the bottom of the sea in the contiguous area.
It provides scientific and technical advice and control:
• on underwater archaeological sites,
• in river and lake areas.
A public administrative research institution: INRAP
National Institute for Preventive Archaeological Research (Inrap) is a public institution under the dual supervision of the ministries responsible for culture and research.
The Inrap ensures the detection and study of the archaeological heritage affected by the spatial development work:
• carry out preventive archaeology operations prescribed by the State (diagnostics and preventive excavations),
• ensure its scientific exploitation,
• it contributes to the teaching, dissemination and enhancement of archaeology.