Founded in 1846, as the first foreign institution to be established in Greece, the French School at Athens is a centre for cutting-edge research in the field of Greek and Byzantine antiquity. It falls within the jurisdiction of the Ministry for Higher Education and Research, and is under the academic supervision of the Academy of Inscriptions and Belles-Lettres of the Institute of France. The French School at Athens is a member of the network constituted by the five French research establishments abroad (in Athens, Rome, Madrid, Cairo and the Far East).
The primary objective of the French School at Athens is to study the Greek world, especially through textual sources and ancient remains discovered in excavations or preserved in museums, to restore them, and ultimately to display them to the public by all available means.
In addition to this objective of creating and transmitting knowledge, the French School also aims to train the next generation of scholars, by offering young researchers access to the country of Greece and its remains and culture via direct, first-hand contact, and in due course to ensure that they are well qualified for employment in an international setting at a high level.
The French School at Athens is:
• a research group, with 50 team members working in different departments
• the focal point of an international network of more than 300 researchers attached to universities, museums and research centres all over the world
• a library containing more than 92000 items, including 1800 journals, with access to the most high-performing electronic resources. Freely accessible to researchers, its holdings cover all areas of the archaeology and art history of the Greek world, from prehistoric times to the Byzantine era, and some aspects of modern Greek history.
• an academic journal with an international reputation, 16 academic series, and over 10 works published each year
• an archival collection of written materials and images from its expeditions to the sites and the museums of Greece and other Mediterranean countries: 8000 squeezes, more than 635000 photographs, 525000 maps and drawings, 240 linear metres of handwritten records
• a center for guests: each year the School hosts more than 300 researchers in its premises and library in Athens. The seven excavation houses welcome members of academic expeditions for their research in the field or in museum reserve collections
The French School at Athens is also:
• a training establishment for individuals from different countries: academic members from France and overseas, holders of doctoral and post-doctoral contracts, and scholarship-holders from all over the world
• a centre for academic events: conferences and lectures, organised throughout the academic year, attract a range of participants and audience members. The School is supported by partnerships with French and foreign universities and museums and with the French National Centre for Academic Research
• responsibility for prestigious excavation sites, such as Argos, Delos, Delphi, Malia, Philippi and Thasos; almost 100 excavations in Greece, Albania and Cyprus, in collaboration with the French Foreign Ministry, the Greek, Cypriot and Albanian Archaeological Service and Archaeological Society, as well as European universities