Elizabeth Chabanol

Born in Maison Carrée (Alger Xe), 1959

Member since 2001

With a degree in East Asian Art History from the Louvre School, Elisabeth Chabanol carries on research into "aristocratic" tombs on the Korean peninsula and their significance in the history of the region during the period of the Three Kingdoms - Koguryeo, Paekche, and Ancient Silla (from the beginning of our era to the 7th century). Her investigations have led her to live in South Korea since 1986. Few sources on the subject are found outside the peninsula.

She began with investigations in the territory covered by the ancient kingdom of Paekche (in the southwestern part of the Korean peninsula), at Taejeon, at the Paekche Research Center (affiliated with the Ch'ungnam National University), and sites close to the ancient capitals. Her master's thesis was Un exemple de l'influence chinoise dans le royaume de Paekche : la tombe du roi Muryeong (Master's degree in art and archeology, University of Paris IV, 1988, under Nicole Vandier-Nicolas).

She then continued on-site investigations, emphasizing the burial sites of the ancient Kingdom of Silla (in the southeastern part of the peninsula), with its capital at Kyeongju, along with researchers from the Seoul and Kyeongju Center for Research into Cultural Properties. Her D.E.A. thesis was L'architecture des tombes en Corée à l'époque des Trois Royaumes : rapport de fouilles de Ch'eonmach'ong (D.E.A. in history of religions and religious anthropology, University of Paris IV, 1990, directed by Flora Blanchon).

Beginning with this thesis, the study of the tombs of Silla, centered on the burials at Kyeongju, became the topic of her doctoral dissertation in history of art at the University of Paris-Sorbonne (Paris IV), directed by Flora Blanchon and defended in March 1998: La mort en Corée à l'époque des Trois Royaumes. Les tombes de Silla. At first she pursued this research while teaching in a Korean university, and then as a conservation researcher at the Kyeongju National Museum, on the site of the capital of the kingdom of Silla. Ji Gon-gil, then director of the Kyeongju National Museum, and Yoon Hyeung-won, archeologist, guided her on-site investigations.

E. Chabanol's attention then turned to the question of the territorial expansion of the kingdom of Silla, which took place gradually. The field of her research is currently expanding. In September, 2001, when joining the EFEO, she proposed an investigation of the funerary customs of ancient Silla in the region of Yeongnam outside the capital Kyeongju based on sites recently excavated or in the process of being excavated. She is also tracing the territorial expansion of Silla, and concentrating on a significant item of funerary trappings, the crown.

At the same time she oversaw the reopening of the EFEO's Center in Seoul, which she has directed since 2002.


« Une découverte archéologique exceptionnelle en Corée », Bulletin de l'École française d'Extrême-Orient, 83, 1996, p. 265-267.

La mort en Corée à l'époque des Trois Royaumes. Les tombes de Silla, thèse de doctorat, Université Paris IV, Histoire de l'art, 1998, 498 p. + 331 p.

« Systèmes funéraires d'Asie du Nord et du Nord-Est : les tombes xiongnu de République de Mongolie, rapport de Mission ». Bulletin de l'École française d'Extrême-Orient, 89, 2002, p. 351-357.

« State Formation in Korea ». IIAS Newsletter, n° 30, 2003, p. 31.

« Relations entre capitale et province dans le Silla ancien : étude au travers des tombes à coffrage en bois et entassements de pierres ».

Complete bibliography

Accueil EFEO