Leriche, Pierre : Europos-Doura Varia I.- 280 pages.-ISBN 978-2-35159-375-2.-40 €
(Institut Français du Proche-Orient, Beyrouth 2012)
Compte rendu par Ilona Skupinska-Lovset, University of Lodz

Nombre de mots : 1870 mots
Publié en ligne le 2017-06-14
Citation: Histara les comptes rendus (ISSN 2100-0700).
Lien: http://histara.sorbonne.fr/cr.php?cr=2326
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          This publication belongs to a series edited by the Institut Francais du Proche Orient (Bibliothèque Archéologique et Historique T. 198); it is entitled "Europos-Doura. Varia I. Fourteen articles by various authors are presented in French and English.


          The introduction explains the change of the name of the site in the publication from the well-known "Doura Europos" to "Europos-Doura", as research indicates that the town carried the name Europos until the middle of the Roman period.


          After the introductory chapters under the title "Archéologie" the reader will find an archaeological section of six articles by various authors followed by the section entitled "Matériels" embracing also six articles and a section entitled "Études" with 5 studies. The second section presents results obtained under works coordinated by MFSED. The last section entitled "Études" presents articles on thematically defined subjects connected with a description of results of a recent excavation program. This section is followed by the List of Abbreviations, the  Bibliography and the Credits, further the reader will find "The Plan of the Site" commented in Arabic as well as a short Summary in Arabic.


          The introductory paper in the archaeological section is written by Pierre Leriche, who directed the project. It is entitled "Europos-Doura. Quinze années de travaux de la Mission franco-syrienne (1986 - 2001)" and is presented on pages 11 - 46. In this article rich in information and illustrations, Leriche discusses the most important projects of the past. In this way he is giving an overview of the results of fifteen years of fieldwork by the French-Syrian Mission (1986 - 2001), which constitutes a starting point for the new research program. The paper opens with a discussion on the Hellenistic city walls, correcting their dating (to the mid-second cent. B.C.), followed by a discussion of the city gates, the sanctuaries of Zeus Megistos, Azzanathona and Atargatis Gadde; civil and military buildings such as strategeion, odeon, bouleuterion, private houses (square C5), a portion of the military camp (principia, residence of Dux Ripae) and the “New Excavations”, square M5 (Main street), south-eastern quarter, where important changes in interpretation of the topography were introduced, as well as the Sassanidan necropolis. The section closes with an enumeration of new methods included in research and the gains they have led to. Studies are mentioned concerning archaeological material in particular pottery studies, weapons, analysis of the building techniques especially constructions in stone and brownstone.  Architectural programs of reconstruction and of rehabilitation are enumerated and discussed.


          The five following articles offered in the section entitled "Archaeology" present specific projects realized up until the 2008/2009 excavation season.


          G. Coqueugniot writes about the excavations during the years 1990 - 2004. They took place within the area of the Bel sanctuary in square M5, where the famous cultic depiction showing an offering scene was found (pp. 45 – 47).


          Susan B. Downey discusses her excavations from the years 1992 - 2002 within the Temple of Zeus Megistos, the area which was previously excavated by  F. Brown (1936-1937), the results of which were never published. She presents six phases of construction within the site, yet still the history of this sacral structure remains unclear, chiefly  due to the plurality of the recorded cases of rebuilding (pp.65 – 77).


          S. de Pontbriand (pp.77 – 93) describes the effects of the archaeological investigations of a large residential building, known as “Lysias residence”, situated close to “The palace of the strategos” and “The sanctuary of Zeus Megistos”. This area was almost entirely excavated by the French – American expedition in the years 1915 – 1936, but the results were never published. The documentation of the works of this mission, however, is preserved in the archives of Yale University; presently it is used by the author as the background for the reviewed article. The author rightly interprets the building complex as a private residence situated in an official portion of the town. We are grateful to her for the efforts she made in publishing this archival material.


          In the following article (pp. 93 – 111) Gaelle Coqueugniot sums up the results of her studies during the years 2004 - 2008 on the area occupied by the chreophylakeion and the agora of Europos-Doura. The chreophylakeion was excavated in the1930s and interpreted as a Greco-roman archive building. This building is said to be one of the oldest within the town, having a hippodameian plan (Hellenistic?).  We will now have to wait for the results of a holistic pottery analysis as well as an analysis of coins in order for an eventual correction to this dating.


          The section closes with a rapport by S. James, J.Baird and K. Strutt entitled "Magnetometry survey of Dura's Roman Military Base and Vicinity". Geophysical  prospection was performed  in 2007 in the northern portion of the town, resulting in the production of a geophysical map of this part of the town. Despite the  various excavations since 1920 the northern part of the city, the principia, the baths, the barracks, the amphitheatre and the temples, as well as the majority of the military area remain unexcavated, which is documented by aerial photographs. Magnetometry is presently applied in order to help to document streets and buildings. (pp. 111 - 117); 


          The second section presents results of research obtained under the coordination by MFSED. The six articles are printed in a section entitled „ Materiels” as follows: 


F. Queyrel,” Le moule à statuette du secteur des maisons romaines à Europos –Doura” ( pp.117 – 123);

C. Allag, “Graffiti et cornices à “Europos-Doura “ (pp.123 – 143);

P. Leriche, “Les peintures d’Europos-Doura au musée national de Damas” (pp.143 – 157);

F. Alabe, “ Peinture d’Europos hellénistique : la carrière de la rue principale (notule signalétique)” (pp. 157 – 161);

F. Alabe, “ Vaisselle d’Europos hellénistique : la carrière en contrebas de la rue principale et son comblement” ( pp. 161 – 185):

J. Boniteau, “Le système de tubuli des bains romains de l’ilot C3 à Europos-Doura” (pp. 185 – 191):

L. Buchet,  “Analyse des restes humains” (pp.191 – 200).


          These articles have the character of excavations reports, they are short and informative.


          The third section, entitled: ”Études” presents longer articles on thematically defined subjects connected with the description of the results of the recent excavation program. This section is followed by the Abbreviations list, Bibliography and Credits as well as a short Summary in Arabic.


          M.- E. Duchteau under the title “ “Aphlad, dieu singulier et méconnu à Europos –Doura” (pp. 201 – 215), discusses the aspects of the cult of a male deity called “Aphlad”(name of Akkadian origin), a deity at present known only in Europos-Doura. The author concentrates on demonstrating Aphlad’s relations to the cult of other deities. The article constitutes an abstract of the author’s dissertation on the personality and identity of polytheist divinities of Europos – Doura, in the timespace 3 rd. cent. BC to 3 rd. cent. AD.


          G. Coqueugniot under the title “ Des espaces sacrés dans la tourmente : les lieux de culte d’Europos-Doura durant le siège Sassanide de la ville (milieu du IIIe siècle de notre ère) ”  (pp.215 – 231) concentrates in particular on the problem of the desacration of a holy place. She points to sanctuaries buried under the reinforcement of the city walls against the Sassanian aggression in mid-third century A.D., that is The temples of Palmyrene Gods, of Zeus Theos and this of Aphlad, as well as the synagogue and “The baptistery”. The author indicates the construction of glacis as a defensive measure and expresses an opinion that during this work the decoration was intentionally saved in order to be restored once the turbulence caused by the end of the war was over. In this way the decoration embracing a series of individual pictures on the walls of The sanctuary of The Palmyrene Gods, The baptistery, The synagogue and The mitreum were for the greater part preserved until today. In the following The Aphlad sanctuary is discussed. In concluding the author expresses her opinion as to the intentional, partial destruction of the holy places during the building the protective glacis. .


          J. Baird under the title “ L’habitat d’époque romaine à Europos-Doura : replacer en contexte ” (pp. 231 – 241) presents  the methods of reconstruction of the habitat in the Roman period through a careful placement of the discovered sites and artifacts in context.


          S. de Pontbriand under the informative title “ La cartographie d’Europos-Doura ” (pp.245 – 254) carefully presents various maps and plans of Europos Doura through time.


          J. Gaslan under the title “ Quelques remarques sur la politique imperial des Parthes Arsaccides et la prise d’Europos-Doura ” (pp.  255 – 266) discusses various aspects of the imperial policy of Arsacides concerning Europos –Doura.


          The articles are followed by a bibliography, a plan of the site with commentary in Arabic and a summary in Arabic.


          In summing up, the publication is carefully assembled, discussing the past, the present and suggesting the future of research on Europos- Doura. The rich material already collected is put in the context of new research. Traditional Franco-American cooperation is being continued. The future will show what aspects of the authors’ vision it will be possible to realize. It applies in particular to the meaningless destruction of historical monuments caused by political demagogy.



Table des matières


Introduction 3

Liste des auteurs 5

Liste des abréviations, note bibliographique, crédit photographique 7

Plan du site en français 9



1. «  Europos-Doura. Quinze années de travaux de la Mission franco-syrienne (1986-2001)  par Pierre Leriche 11

2. « Un sanctuaire au dieu Bêl le long de la rue principale d’Europos-Doura (îlot M5)   par Gaëlle Coqueugniot 47

3. « Temple of Zeus Megistos: Brief Report on Excavations, 1992-2002 » par Susan B. Downey 65

4. « La résidence de Lysias à Europos-Doura. Une première approche » par Ségolène de Pontbriand 77

5. « Le chreophylakeion et l’agora d’Europos-Doura : bilan des recherches, 2004-2008 » par Gaëlle Coqueugniot 93

6. « Magnetometry survey of Dura’s Roman Military Base and Vicinity » par Simon James, Jennifer Baird et Kristian Strutt 111



7. « Le moule à statuette du secteur des maisons romaines à Europos-Doura » par François Queyrel 117

8. « Graffiti et corniches à Europos-Doura » par Claudine Allag 123

9. « Les peintures d’Europos-Doura au musée national de Damas » par Pierre Leriche 143

10. « Peinture d’Europos hellénistique : la carrière de la rue principale (notule signalétique) »  par Françoise Alabe 157

11. « Vaisselle d’Europos hellénistique : la carrière en contrebas de la rue principale et son comblement » par Françoise Alabe 161

12. « Le système de tubuli des bains romains de l’îlot C3 à Europos-Doura » par José Boniteau 185

13. « Europos-Doura. Analyse des restes humains » par Luc Buchet 191



14. « Aphlad, dieu singulier et méconnu à Europos-Doura »  par Marie-Emmanuelle Duchateau 201

15. « Des espaces sacrés dans la tourmente : les lieux de culte d’Europos-Doura durant le siège sassanide de la ville (milieu du IIIe siècle de notre ère) » par Gaëlle Coqueugniot 215

16. « L’habitat d’époque romaine à Europos-Doura : replacer les objets en contexte »  par Jennifer Baird 231

17. « La cartographie d’Europos-Doura »  par Ségolène de Pontbriand 241

18. « Quelques remarques sur la politique impériale des Parthes Arsacides et la prise d’Europos-Doura »  par Jérôme Gaslain 255


Bibliographie 267

Plan du site en arabe 278

Sommaire en arabe 280