LabEx LaScArBx

Bordeaux Archaeological Sciences LabEx
The LaScArBx project brings together three research units from the University of Bordeaux that are specialized in the field of archaeology. This union between Archeometry, Prehistory, Protohistory,History of Antiquity and the Middle Ages, Philology of Paleoenvironments, and Biological Anthropology is unique in France.

The LaScArBx project has several unique assets:

  • the scientific excellence of itsteams (each is particularly renowned in its field of expertise)
  • each team’s international visibility (their research is conducted in Europe, Africa, the Near East and Middle East, South America, and Oceania)
  • a strong focus on the Aquitaine region (with respect to both research and outreach)
  • the support of governmental institutions - the French government and the Aquitaine Regional Council are ndertaking a major building programme to construct the Bordeaux Centre for Archaeological Sciences - Maison des Sciences Archéologiques de Bordeaux (2014-2020).
The LaScArBx project is focused on three principal research themes. Each of which examines the relation between man and the space around him, with a particular focus on the different processes that operated behind how space was appropriated from ancient prehistoric societies up to the end of the Middle Ages.

  1. Settlements systems and cultural territories
  2. Resource exploitation, innovation, exchange
  3. Symbolic expressions and the geography of memory
These three themes have been at the core of the research conducted by each of the partner laboratories for many years. The unification of these three research units within the LaScArBx project means that different disciplines (physics, archaeology, anthropology, environmental studies..) have been brought together in a common federative and innovative project.

Three interdisciplinary teams bring together a wide range of archaeological expertise: a cluster of scientific excellence that is unique both in France and Europe.

Principal research disciplines:
Ancient history, mediaeval history, archaeology, classics, history of art, architecture and heritage, archaeomaterials (dating, characterisation), earth sciences, prehistory, protohistory, biological anthropology, human and social sciences.

LaScArBx: an ambitious research project
LaScArBx is an innovative and structure-providing project with respect to archaeology in France. Its aim is to build an original interdisciplinary dialogue that to date has no equivalent either in France or elsewhere. Instead of simply bringing areas of competence together, the goal is to create a framework for the true sharing knowledge and know-how.

The outcome of this important shift in scale and this original hybridisation of disciplines is expected to be a major qualitative leap forward with significant results. However, what is truly at stake is ensuring that the project’s activities have an international impact. The project’s mission is to heighten the European and global visibility of this Bordeaux consortium of archaeological skills and to make it more attractive to senior, top level researchers as well to younger researchers with great potential.

A cluster for teaching archaeological sciences
LaScArBx constitutes a cluster for teaching archaeological sciences, which is particularly well-developed with respect to Master’s degrees. The participation in this teaching programme of professionals (particulary from the discipline of salvage archaeology) is a major asset for graduates when they enter the professional sector. Theme-based schools promote interdisciplinarity, and an active policy regarding doctoral studies has eased the integration of young researchers and facilitated their mobility (financing, supervision and international exchanges).

Valorisation of research projects
Each of the three LaScArBx research departments has its own tools and partnerships that allow it to disseminate research results to the general public. In order to reinforce the role played by the partner teams in the socio-economic life of the region and to help create jobs, LaScArBx has a three-pronged approach for promoting its activities: publicizing scientific culture, economic development of the private sector, and providing its expertise to regional and state authorities. One of its main aims concerns the study, conservation, and enhancement of several world heritage-listed (UNESCO) sites - particulary the development of cultural tourism at prehistoric cave arts sites in the Vézère valley (Dordogne). In this respect, the unique and well-established partnership between the LabEx teams and the Ministry of Culture and Communication is a fundamental strength.


  • Over 300 people involved in the various archaeological researchfields
  • 500 scientific publications since 2011
  • 130 doctoral students and postdoctoral researchers