The great Egyptologist Christiane Desroches-Noblecourt passed away on June 23, 2011, at the age of 97. A former resistance fighter, she is known for having contributed, with André Malraux and UNESCO, to the rescue of the monuments of Nubia, during the construction of the Aswan dam by the Egypt of Nasser ...
Her interest in the Egypt of the Pharaohs dates back to the discovery of Tutankhamun's tomb in 1922 (she was not yet ten years old). With the support of her father, she entered the Ecole du Louvre, where she studied Egyptian archeology and philology. She obtained a thesis for each of these disciplines, at the Louvre and at the EPHE of the Sorbonne.
In 1938, it was the consecration: Christiane Desroches-Noblecourt became the first woman appointed to the Cairo School. War struck when she returned to France in 1940. Christiane Desroches-Noblecourt joined the resistance, was imprisoned and then released.
The war ended, the great Egyptologist resumed her work, but Nasser's revolution sowed chaos in Egyptology, and European scientists were pushed to leave. Not Christiane Desroches-Noblecourt. She stood up to the Egyptian government, with the support of UNESCO, when the Aswan Dam project threatened the monuments of Nubia in 1956. It was thanks to her fight that Abu Simbel, among others, was saved from the waters. . A few years later, it was she who guided General De Gaulle during the Tutankhamun exhibition in Paris ...
Christiane Desroches-Noblecourt has also published numerous reference books:
- The secret of the discoveries, Telemachus, 2006.
- Tutankhamun, Pygmalion, 1999.
- Ramses II, the real story, Pygmalion, 1997.
- The Zealots of Mandoulis and the Masters of Ballana and Qustul, IFAO, coll. “Gamal Eddin Mokhtar Mixtures”, 1985.
- Tutankhamun and his time, Petit Palais, Paris, Meeting of National Museums, 1967.
- Egyptian art, PUF, 1962.
Egyptology loses a great lady.