Jean-Claude Golvin, architect, French archaeologist and former researcher at the CNRS (National Center for Scientific Research - University of Bordeaux III Michel de Montaigne) is the first specialist in the world of restitution by the image of the great sites of Antiquity.

He is the author of more than 1000 drawings of restitution of ancient and medieval cities and monuments, deposited, for the most part, at the Museum of Ancient Arles, the most active in France for this period of history after the Louvre.


Born under the sunny skies of Tunisia, in Sfax in 1942, he was, from an early age, passionate about drawing, history and visiting the ancient sites of North Africa (Tunisia, Algeria).

He took part in archaeological missions after obtaining his diploma of architect (Architect DPLG in 1969, urban planner DIUP in 1972). From 1973, he collaborated in the development of the Roman amphitheater of El-Jem in Tunisia. Hence his interest in the Roman amphitheatres, which enabled him to obtain his doctorate of state in history in 1985: "The Roman amphitheater, essay theorizing its form and its functions."

From 1979 to 1990, he lived in Egypt and headed the Franco-Egyptian Center for the Study of Karnak Temples in Luxor. It was after his return to France in 1989 that he devoted himself fully to restoring ancient heritage through watercolor drawing. From 1995, he regularly participates in exhibitions, publishes many books and contributes to several journals.

Jean-Claude Golvin's "images of restitution", beyond the scientific vector they represent because of the preparatory analyzes,
also constitute an exceptional artistic work. It is natural to find these works today in a museum, for the greatest happiness of all.

Robert Vergnieux


The goal of architectural restoration is to methodically reconstruct, in collaboration with the best connoisseurs of the sites (historians, archaeologists, etc.), a credible image of the city studied. On a scientific level, this work is rigorous: it consists of building what researchers call "a theoretical model of the ancient city". But this image, intended for communication with a wide audience, will be all the more effective as it will have real artistic qualities.

The image is made in India ink and watercolor, the author's favorite mode of expression. It is necessarily realistic and precise because it has a didactic role to play. She must attract attention and seduce. His artistic interest is due to the personality and sensitivity of the author.




  • 1985
    Ph.D. in history. Thesis defented at the University of Bordeaux III under the direction of Professor Robert ETIENNE.
    Thesis subject : “The Roman amphitheater, theoretical essay of its shape and its functions”.

Knight of the National Order of Merit - French
Knight of the National Order of Merit - Tunisia

  • 1972
    Urbanist DIUP (Graduate of the Institute of Urbanism of Paris).
  • 1969
    Architect D.P.L.G. (Architect graduated by the Government).

What makes his work incomparable is the fact that he not only demonstrates great skill, but respects,
down to the smallest detail, the discoveries of archaeologists and specialists.


Since 2008 - Freelance - Specialist of the image of restitution of the ancient cities.


Emeritus Research Director at the CNRS. Ausonius Institute CNRS, University of Bordeaux III.


Scientific Advisor of the Project FSP “Dougga and the wet area.”
Operation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


Director of Research at the UMR 5607 Ausonius Institute, University of Bordeaux III.
Development of research related to the restitution of ancient monuments.


Director of the French Archaeological Mission “Religious architecture Thucca” (Dougga, Tunisia).
Mission of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


Research Director – URA 1064 CNRS – Research of the Ramesseum (Luxor RAE). Mission led by Christian LEBLANC.


Director of the Franco-Egyptian Centre at Karnak and the Permanent Mission of the CNRS at Karnak (Luxor RAE).


Director of the Office of Architecture Southwest Antique CNRS
(Ancient Architecture Service became: Research Institute of Ancient Architecture CNRS).


Civil cooperating with the National Institute of Archaeology and Arts in Tunisia as Architect in charge of the development of the great amphitheater of El Jem: project conducted under the direction of Hedi SLIM.