Christophe Pottier

Christophe Pottier

Born in Mayenne, 1966
Architect at EFEO from 1992 to 1999, 
EFEO Member since 1999

Christophe Pottier graduated at the School of architecture of Nantes in 1990, and supplemented his formation with a Ph.D in archaeology in 1999 at the Paris III - Sorbonne Nouvelle university, under the direction of B Dagens.

During his university course, he carried out three missions from 1987 to 1989 as an assistant for an urban research programme of the EFEO on the Kavery cities in Tamil Nadu (India) under the direction of J Gaucher. From 1989 to 1992, he assisted P. Pichard, an EFEO architect, for the restoration of Phanom Wan, a Khmer temple in Thailand. In parallel, he took part in 1990 and 1991 with the indexation of the Angkor related documentation preserved in the EFEO archives in Paris, under the direction of B Dagens.

He collaborated to the first EFEO missions in Angkor, under the direction of J Dumarçay in 1990 and 1992, before being recruited in July 1992 by the EFEO. In charge of reopening - and rebuilding - the research center of the EFEO in Siem Reap, he also gave technical aid to the Conservation of Angkor. In 1993, he carried on with the restoration of the Terrace of Leprous King in Angkor Thom, a monumental restoration left unfinished in 1973 when the Khmer Rouges stopped all conservation activities in Angkor. In the continuity of this restoration, completed in March 1996, Christophe Pottier directed the restoration of the northern staircase of the Terrace of the Elephants, completed in March 1999.

He is recruited as an EFEO research fellow in February 1999 and reassigned again in October the same year as Head of the EFEO centre in Siem Reap. Since, he carried out research in three fields related to architecture and archaeology of Angkor in parallel to his restoration activities. The first field relates to detail studies of the constructive techniques, in particular roofing systems. The second aims, on the scale of the buildings and through architectural analysis and archaeological excavations, to reassess certain aspects of the monumental chronology, especially on the royal Terraces of Angkor Thom and on various temples of the Roluos area. The last field, which was the subject of its Ph.D, focuses on the organization of the Angkor territory. Based on the development of his new mapping of the archaeological sites, this research combines remote sensing, field prospections and spatial anylisis. The identification of several hundreds "new" sites in the area of Angkor allowed him to reconsider settlements patterns and densities and to reassess ancient spatial layouts and organisations, which underline and specify the concept of territory in the Angkorian "cities". This research continues since in the northern area of Angkor.

In addition, Christophe Pottier directs since 1999 theCambodian-French Archaeological Mission on the Angkor Region, whose excavation campaigns discovered some extraordinary traces of the initial phases of historical occupations of the area of Angkor, from 3000 to 1200 BP. He is associated since 2000 with the Greater Angkor Project led by R. Fletcher (Sydney Univ.), focusing on the spatial and chronological understanding of the demise of Angkor. Finally, with R.K. Chhem (Western Ontario Univ.) and A. Kolata (Chicago Univ.), he initiated in 2005 a new Angkor Medieval Hospitals Archaeological Project and directed the first excavation campaign in 2006.

Christophe Pottier
Christophe Pottier

Maître de conférences

(Architecture et archéologie du Cambodge)

Ecole française d’Extrême-Orient (EFEO)
22 avenue du président Wilson, 75116 Paris