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Born in Amiens, in the suburb of Saint-Acheul (Somme) on August 16, 1926 of parents working for the National Railway Company, Roger Agache is frail. He therefore leaves regularly with his grandparents in Prouzel. Roger Agache will keep all his life a memory amazed by the green paradise of his childhood ... He gradually acquires the passion of nature, solitude and contemplation.

He then became a teacher in Béthencourt-sur-Mer (Somme). At the same time, he devoted his leisure to Prehistory and to the assiduous study of the work of Victor Commont, the scientific founder of modern Prehistory. In 1954, Léon Aufrère, director of prehistoric Antiquities, encouraged him to resume his studies and put him in contact with the great prehistorians of the time, notably the Abbe Breuil, with whom he went to take Quaternary Cups. He graduated from the École Pratique des Hautes Études and prepared a thesis on the Quaternaire de la Somme with André Cayeux and Franck Bourdier.

In 1955 and 1956, Roger Agache made his first aerial flights at low altitude over the Picardy countryside. He coincides with traces comparable to those of the British archaeologist Osbert Crawford. This prompted him to extend his flyovers and published the results as early as 1960. He met with only skepticism and irony, despite convincing control polls. With the support of certain scientists, however, he launched himself into this discipline so disputed in France. The next two years were fruitful and he obtained, especially at Vendeuil-Caply (Oise), revealing clichés of Roman structures so characteristic that he began to be taken seriously.

In 1962 Roger Agache published a pamphlet entitled Aerial views of the Somme and his past, with 93 illustrations. This is the first album of its kind in France. The best foreign specialists are enthusiastic about the interest of the clichés obtained with such low means. During the winter of 1963-64, he multiplied the overflights, the results of which exceeded all expectations by the number of discoveries and by the unprecedented accuracy of photographs of plans of large Gallo-Roman villas which nobody suspected 'existence.

His publications in foreign scientific journals soon earned him an international reputation, confirmed by his important work of synthesis published in 1970 - which British academics, such as Glyn Daniel, quickly consider as a classic work

He was appointed Director of the Prehistoric Antiquities Nord - Picardie on 1 March 1963, and intensified his searches and searches. In July 1968 Bruno Bréart appointed his assistant and helped him to draw up the plans and the cartography of the traced lines of the sky. In 1975 they published together the two volumes in plano of an imposing Atlas of Aerial Archeology in Picardy, where thousands of sites were discovered.

Roger Agache's bibliography goes beyond the 200 titles. It has several thousand flight hours and its thousands of aerial photographs are handed over to the Ministry of Culture where they can be accessed today via the "Collections" search engine.

Roger Agache was honored by the award of the Grand Prix de Géographie in 1978 and the National Grand Prix of Archeology in 1983. He was elected correspondent of the Institute in 1991.
The following year, the scientific community paid tribute to him at the international colloquium in Amiens. In the preface to the proceedings of this colloquium, Christian Goudineau, a professor at the Collège de France, writes: "Aerial archeology has become one of the essential elements of the horizon of archaeologists and historians, More than today - for the preservation of our heritage. I repeat, all this thanks to a few "crazy flying" led by Roger Agache ".

Died 17 September 2011 at the age of 86, his scientific contribution focuses on the archeology of the landscape, the typology, the location and evolution of the Gallic and Gallo-Roman rural habitat. His surface surveys and the methodical follow-up of the quarries on the Somme's terraces enabled him to gather an important collection that he bequeathed to the Musée Boucher-de-Perthes.

Thanks to his aerial research, Roger Agache has made Picardy a high place of archeology: our region owes him much.Abbeville and his museum also owe him a lot because if Boucher de Perthes was one of the fathers of prehistory, Roger Agache developed this science and thanks to it has radiated our territory to the international. A diligent reader of the Abbeville patrimonial library (he also occupied the official dwelling of the former communal library, now the École des Beaux-arts), he continued to visit the museum to give his advice and transmit his knowledge 'At the twilight of his life. He died in 2011, leaving in the memory of many Abbevillois an indelible memory.

According to the website of the Ministry of Culture (www.archeologie-aerienne.culture.gouv.fr) - author Jean-Claude Blanchet, archaeologist and friend of Roger Agache

Creation date : 22/06/2017 23:57
Category : History - Personalities inhabitant of Abbeville
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