Julien Poinssot and his Descendants. Three Generations of Discoveries which Unravelled the Ancient Religions of North Africa Articles uri icon



publication date

  • January 2021

start page

  • 177

end page

  • 217


  • 36

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1885-2718

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2445-0057


  • This paper discusses the scientific lives of Julien, Louis and Claude Poinssot (grandfather, father and son) and their important contribution to the study of ancient religions in North Africa, especially in Tunisia, including their intense engagement with the ancient Thugga. Julien, who had been trained as a notary, soon became a pioneering epigraphist of Proconsularis. As a result of the colonial context in which he worked and the bureaucratic problems he encountered, his archaeological career was brief, albeit intensive. Nevertheless, his vocation was inherited by his descendants, Louis and Claude, who eventually became Directors of Antiquities and of Museums. Their work left a remarkable legacy, including the Mahdia underwater excavations and the exploration of the Dougga Capitol


  • History
  • Religion


  • poinssot; julien; louis; claude; thugga; kef; bernard roy; mercurius sobrius; tunisian antiquities service; inha; tissot