Jean Cledat

JEAN CLEDAT

(Périgueux, France, 7 May 1872-Bouch [Dordogne], France, 29 July 1943), French Egyptologist and Coptologist. He acquired a solid grounding in Paris (including the Ecole des Beaux Arts) and, in 1898 and 1899, published his first studies in Egyptology and Coptology that dealt with both the texts and the archaeology. Clédat arrived in Egypt in 1900 and worked there until 1914, when he was recalled to France for military service.

Missions for the Egyptian Antiquities Service, the Suez Canal Company, the Institut français d’Archéologie orientale, and the Comité de l’Art Arabe took him from Middle Egypt to Elephantine Island (Aswan) and to the Delta, as well as to the Eastern Desert. They led him to alternate excavations with writing reports on pharaonic, Coptic, or Roman sites.

The exposition of the results that Clédat obtained on one sector of the monastery at Bawit in 1902 and 1916 revealed its richness, and remains an indispensable reference. In 1911 he was the first curator of the museum at Ismailia. The consequences of a serious illness contracted during World War I put an end to a career already rich in accomplishment but still full of promise.

The state of his health permitted Clédat to produce a few publications until 1922.

Some of Clédat’s important works are: Le Monastère et la nécropole de Baouît, Vol. 1 issued in two parts (Cairo, 1904-1906); and Nécropole de Qantarah (fouilles de mai 1914) (Paris, 1916). He also published a number of journal articles relating to the Copts.

PIERRE DU BOURGUET, S.J.

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