Topographer and Speleologist

Passed away on 24 April 1999 while guiding a group of colleagues through the karstic network in the cave of Foissac in Aveyron, in order to prepare a scientific course.

Chief curator of heritage at the DRAC Midi-Pyrénées (Regional archaeology service), a trainer in speleology, François Rouzaud held a degree from the Higher School of Social Sciences in Toulouse, and developed an approach to the underground world by uncompromisingly highlighting and associating research and the preservation of heritage. According to the field of study, he continued the work of his prestigious predecessors, for whom he avowed a justified admiration, and started up what later became known as palaeospeleology.

He was a member of the Chauvet-Pont d'Arc Cave scientific team, and wrote numerous books and articles. One of the most recent was devoted to the astonishing anthropogenic structures discovered in a cave at Bruniquel (Tarn-et-Garonne). He took part in expeditions to Niaux, Fontanet, the caves of Volp, and directed work in the decorated and palaeontological caves in the Valley of Aveyron (Igue des Rameaux), and extended his work precisely by linking it to the development of caves open to the public (Pech-Merle, Gargas).

Find out more: tribute by Catherine Trautmann, Minister of Culture and Communication.