Episcopal Group of Cuicul-Djemila

This land is the heart of the Epicur project "Study, conservation and valorisation of the episcopal group of Cuicul-Djemila (Algeria)" financed for a period of 36 months by the National Research Agency under the generic call for projects 2019. It officially started in February 2020.

The archaeology of the 19th and first half of the 20th century strongly affected the heritage through numerous and extensive excavations whose methods mostly ignored stratigraphy. This has resulted in considerable loss of information and difficulties in the management of the remains.

Faced with this observation, the Epicur project is betting on re-studying these remains brought to light in the past. It is thus looking at the emblematic case of the Roman city of Cuicul-Djemila (Algeria) and more particularly at its episcopal group.

Excavated by French architects A. Ravoised in 1840, then A. Ballu between 1913 and 1922 and finally by A.M.L. de Crésolles in 1923, this episcopal group was fully recognized. It thus provides the most complete and representative map of these western episcopal groups and is therefore frequently cited in specialized articles and books as well as in textbooks. Nonetheless, it is still very poorly known. The absence of stratigraphic data, the inaccuracy of the available plans and the lack of detailed descriptions deprive us of fundamental information. Thus, an exhaustive re-examination of this ensemble of almost 1 hectare remains to be done.

The aim of the project is threefold:

  • to study the Episcopal group of Cuicul-Djemila using a non-invasive research protocol based on new technologies ;
  • to train students and professionals within the framework of the University of Setif 2 through seminars and practical field internships;
  • work and participate in the conservation and enhancement of the site.

Members of the team

Archeovision : R. Chapoulie, B. Dutailly, S. Tournon, C. Delevoie, L. Espinasse, P. Mora | LA3M : D. Istria, D. Sadaoui, D. Ollivier, L. Maggiori | CCJ: L. Roux, L. Damelet | Université de Sétif 2: Y. Aibèche, S. Bensafia | Aoroc : A.-A. Malek | ArAr : A. Flammin | INGV : F. Doumaz | CEM : S. Büttner | Independent : C. Chabert.

Galerie d'images
Contact information

Scientific leaders of the operation
Daniel Istria (CNRS - LA3M)
Alina-Aïcha Malek (CNRS - Aoroc)
Youcef Aibèche (University of Sétif 2)


ancient architecture, religious architecture, episcopal group
North Africa, Algeria
building archaeology, construction archaeology
conservation and enhancement of the archaeological heritage
architectural survey, archaeological survey