Disparaged and then forgotten at the beginning of the 20th century, the Commission de Topographie des Gaules (CTG) deserved to have its reputation restored. It merited admiration for its methods, rigour and important contribution to our study today of certain archaeological sites.
Re-establishing the merits of a little-known organisation
On beginning the analysis of sources relating to the CTG, it was immediately clear that the commission had taken great care in recording all its data (maps, surveys, papers, photographs, objects, etc.). Our analysis also shed light on the transformation of national archaeology into a scientific discipline during the second half of the 19th century. Finally, the study of these sources allowed us to understand the increasing interest of the scientific community in historical geography.
A website for easy access
The website dedicated to the CTG is the result of much work collecting and analysing archives which are today widely dispersed. The site offers an overview of the men responsible for this project, their methods, the documentation they produced and the results they obtained, all of which has undeniable scientific value. It also contains information about the context to their large-scale investigation, an investigation which is little-known despite having resulted in the making of the first archaeological map of France.
Gathering sources to begin new research
Making the CTG’s sources, along with their location and description, available to researchers appeared indispensable, in order to allow complementary studies to be carried out and lead to new evaluations. These sources are now classified and accessible at the address: archives.musee-archeologienationale.fr