The TRIADS-Tunisia project was labelled by the A*Midex Foundation in the framework of the 2018 "Mediterranean" call for projects and started its activities in February 2020. It brings together a consortium of three Tunisian academic and research institutions, with Aix-Marseille University and its laboratories, to develop Franco-Tunisian cooperation in archaeology.

The "Training and Research in Archaeology and Development Strategies in Tunisia" project is developing a Franco-Tunisian training and research programme in archaeology. Tunisia and France have a long tradition of scientific cooperation in the field of archaeology and cultural heritage, notably with the academic site of Aix-Marseille. Partners on both sides of the Mediterranean today share similar requirements for the training of their students and staff, such as the need to update skills, knowledge and resources, and to further integrate training, research and valorisation.

Aix-Marseille University, the Universities of Sfax and Sousse and the National Heritage Institute of Tunis signed a letter of intent on 5 October 2017, during the first meeting of the High Council for Franco-Tunisian Cooperation, expressing the ambition to build a Franco-Tunisian archaeological field school. This letter lists common objectives such as the organization of training and research in field documentation in Tunisia, the development of common scientific programs for the training of Tunisian and French actors (executives, operators...) and the strengthening of cooperation for the enhancement of Tunisian archaeological sites.

The four institutions, which include two Earth Sciences and Engineering laboratories (the Cerege at AMU and the Enis at the University of Sfax), are thus creating, through TRIADS-Tunisia, an innovative training project prefiguring the Tunisian-French archaeological field school, with a joint team of Tunisian and French students and professionals.

The training is structured around a set of predefined research tasks on the archaeology and environment of the ancient Maghreb. All disciplines of archaeology and environment are included in the project, but TRIADS-Tunisia covers in particular four key disciplines to start with: urban archaeology, funerary archaeology, ceramology and the petrographic and geochemical characterization of materials. These four disciplines were chosen by the three Tunisian institutions to respond to the very specific and urgent challenges facing research, training and valorisation initiatives in the regions of Sfax and Sousse.

This project is subsidised to the tune of €79,800 by the A*Midex Foundation within the framework of the 2018 "Mediterranean" call for projects. The aim of this call is to strengthen Euro-Mediterranean collaborations at the Aix-Marseille site with privileged research partners. The projects had to propose a research-action approach with a major axis of experimentation on a local scale; emphasis was also placed on interdisciplinarity and intersectorality, in order to generate new knowledge, and the strengthening of incoming and outgoing mobility within the Mediterranean basin, in order to strengthen partnerships.

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The TRIADS-Tunisia project is part of the transversal axis "History and Archaeology of the Ancient Maghreb" (ATHAr program) carried by the MMSH.

For more information on the activities of the TRIADS-Tunisia project, see the ATHAr Programme Research Notebook.

Contact information

Coordination Team
Michel Bonifay (CNRS - CCJ)
Slim Abdelkafi (University of Sfax - Enis)
Jean-Paul Ambrosi (CNRS - Cerege)
Sofiène Ben Moussa (University of Sousse - FLSH)
Salem Mokni (University of Sfax - FLSH)
Ammar Othman (National Heritage Institute)
Yamen Sghaier (National Heritage Institute)

Permanent employees
Solenn de Larminat (CCJ)
Tomoo Mukai (CNRS - CCJ)

Michel Bonifay (CNRS - CCJ)


Tunisia, Franco-Tunisian cooperation
training-research, archaeology
enhancement, heritage, archaeological sites
ancient Maghreb
urban archaeology, funerary archaeology
ceramology, archaeometry, petrographic characterization, geochemistry of materials