- Individual - Modern
- Nationality and Dates
- French, 1873–1963
- Egyptologist. Nationality and life dates from Who was Who in Egyptology. (1873-1963) French Egyptologist; born at Brie-Comte-Robert, 25 Nov. 1873, son of Louis Clément L., an architect, and Lucie AdéIe Belin; he at first entered the Ecole Normale intending to take up geology and studied Natural Science at the Sorbonne; he then turned to philosophy taking his degree in this sub- ject 1897, but studying oriental languages simultaneously; he learnt Hebrew and wrote an article on a text in this language in the Revue d'Assyriologie when he was only twenty-one; the influence of Maspero (q.v.) led him to study Coptic and Egyptian and he joined the lnstitut Français at his suggestion and began work for the Cairo general catalogue; he arrived in Egypt in 1899 and in 1901 published his first article on an Egyptian subject, Textes de I'Ancien Testament en copte sahidique, in the Rec Trav, his first volume for the Catalogue on the coffins in the museum in Cairo followed in1906;in this work he not only revealed his philological knowledge in transcribing the texts, but also noted most carefully all the constructional details and provided useful diagrams as illustration; this work led him to become interested in religious texts and he published a series of articles on the Coffin Texts in Rec Trav, 26-37, which was of great importance before the appearance of the comprehensive work of de Buck (q.v.); he also wrote a number of articles on Egyptian grammar at this period; in 1912 Lacau was appointed Director of the IFAO in Cairo and the following year was elected a member of the lnstitut Egyptien; on 7 Oct. 1914 he was appointed Director of the Antiquities Service but delayed his departure to Egypt for war service until sept. 1915 when he was sent back to Egypt so that he could arrange a proper administration for the Antiquities Service throughout the war period; this done he returned to France, 1916, after delegating his work to the Secretary-General G. Daressy (q.v.); he returned to Egypt in 1917 and resumed his duties; in 1919 he married Anne-Marie Bernard, daughter of the Geography Professor at the Sorbonne, and was made Director of the Institut Français; he was made a correspondant of the Acad. des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres, 1923; in the period after the war Lacau issued directives for the partial uncovering of the funerary temples and their dependant buildings at Saqqara, and for the study of the Memphite tombs both architecturally and functionally, and for essential restoration and consolidation work to be carried out at Karnak; sondages were also to be made with a view to making possible the publication of all the completed parts; at the time of the discovery of the Tomb of Tutankhamun Lacau insisted on all the finds being retained in Egypt and secured the entire collection for Cairo Museum; he returned to France in 1936, and succeeded Moret (q.v.) in his chair in Paris 1938; in 1939 he became a Member of the Acad. des Inscriptions et Belles- Lettres; after the war he paid three further visits to Egypt, 1950-4, and died in Paris, 27 March 1963; his principal works were, Sarcophages antérieurs au Nouvel Empire, 2 vols. 1904- 6; Fragments d'apocryphes coptes, 1904; Textes coptes en dialectes akhmimique et sahidique, 1908; Textes religieux égyptiens, I pt. 1910; Stéles du Nauvel Empire, 2 vols. 1909,1926, for Cairo Cat.; Une stéle juridique de Karnak, 1949-, Sur le systéme hiéroglyphique, 1954; Une chapelle, de Sésostris ler à Karnak, with H. Chevrier, 1956; La Pyramide ? degrés, tom. 4. Inscriptions gravées sur les vases, with J. P. Lauer, 2 pts., 1959, 1961; Une chapelle d'Hatshebsout à Kamak, with H. Chevrier, 2nds, 1977, 1979. ASAE 59 (1966), 33-52 (portr.) (J. P. Lauer); Annuaire du Collége de France 63 (1963), 39- 41 (M. Bataillon); AfO 21 (1966), 272-3 (J. Leclant); BIFA062 (1964), 231-5 (F. Daumas); Chron. D' Eg. 38 (1966), 244-6 (B. van de Walle); CRAIBL1963, 1964, 105-11 (P. Montet); Rev. Arch. 1963, ii, 55-8 (Ch. Picard); Rev. d'Eg. 15 (1963), 7-10 (portr.) (J. Sainte Fare Garnot); Rev. del'Histoire des Religions, cxliv, no. 444 (1963),128-31 (J. Sainte Fare Garnot).
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