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Alessandro Conti

(b Venice, April 25, 1859; d Rome, July 10, 1925).

Italian archaeologist. He was educated in Venice at a time when there was great controversy over the conservation of original works of art, especially in connection with the restorations (1875) in S Marco. In 1888 he moved to Rome, where he became an inspector of monuments and advocated the establishment of a photographic archive and a catalogue of monuments as a basis for restoration programmes. Having collaborated on excavations inside the Pantheon in 1892, from 1895 he superintended new excavations in the Forum Romanum (see Rome, §V, 1); the latter uncovered fundamental evidence concerning the origins of Rome, including the Lapis Niger (1st century bc; in situ), an archaic Latin inscription (c. 500 bc; Corpus inscriptionum latinarum, Academia Litterarum Borussicae, Berlin, 1863–, vi, 36840) and ‘pre-Romulan’ burial grounds. He was influenced by John Ruskin’s philosophy of art and argued that the prime function of restoration is to preserve original materials. In ...

Article

(b London, 1808; d Paris, April 27, 1878).

French archaeologist and architectural historian. He came from a noble family of royalist, Catholic lawyers, and studied law himself before embarking on a career in the civil service. At the same time he followed courses at the Sorbonne and Bibliothèque Royale and pursued a career as a scholar and archaeologist. He submitted reports to the Comité des Arts et Monuments, which was drawing up an inventory of French monuments. In 1855 he was asked to record inscriptions in France dating after the 5th century ad, and he spent the rest of his life on this work, which was published from 1873. Guilhermy also published numerous articles dealing mainly with the iconography of medieval historical and literary figures; in other articles he discussed the dispersed collections of the old Musée des Monuments Français (Petits-Augustins).

Guilhermy was admitted to the Commission des Monuments Historiques only in 1860, but very soon he became associated with a number of major restoration workshops. At Saint-Denis Abbey he advised Eugène Viollet-le-Duc on the restoration of the crypts, having joined Charles Lenormant, Prosper Mérimée and Louis Vitet in deploring the anachronisms and incorrect restorations of François Debret. At the Sainte-Chapelle he collaborated with ...

Article

Dimitris Tsougarakis

(b Athens, Dec 23, 1887; d Athens, Oct 6, 1979).

Greek architect and archaeologist. He graduated from the National Polytechnic at Athens as an architect in 1908 and gained his doctorate from the University of Athens in 1915, having studied ancient Greek architecture with Wilhelm Dörpfeld (1853–1940), prehistoric archaeology with Georg Karo (1872–1963), archaic sculpture with Rudolf Heberdey and epigraphy with Anton von Premerstein (d 1937). He was the architect for the restoration works (1910–17) on the Acropolis of Athens under Nikolaos Balanos (1852–1933). He served as director of restorations for the ancient monuments of Greece, apart from the Acropolis, from 1920 to 1942, and director of restorations for the monuments of Greece including the Acropolis from 1942 to 1958. He also held posts as professor of morphology and rhythmology at the National Polytechnic (1919–40); professor of the history of architecture also at the Polytechnic (1943–58); and professor of Byzantine archaeology at the University of Athens (...

Article

Valeria Farinati

(b Venice, Aug 23, 1683; d Padua, Nov 15, 1761).

Italian scientist and archaeologist. He is noted for his work as a technical consultant specializing in architectural and hydraulic problems. He began his studies in 1690 in Venice, at the Seminario Patriarcale, Murano, completing them c. 1705 at the school of the Somaschi Fathers at Santa Maria della Salute. In 1708 he was appointed a professor of astronomy at the University of Padua. On 30 November 1710 he became a Fellow of the Royal Society, London; this was followed by membership of the most famous Italian academies, as well as those of Berlin (1715), St Petersburg (1735) and Paris (1739). He maintained a continuous correspondence with the most eminent scientists and men of culture, both Italian and foreign, and published numerous works on scientific subjects. In the course of Poleni’s career at the University of Padua, he was professor of philosophy (c. 1715–19...

Article

Sanchi  

Michael D. Willis

[Sāñcī; anc. Kākaṇāya; Kākaṇāva; Kākanādaboṭa; Botaśrīparvata]

Buddhist site in Madhya Pradesh, India, 70 km from Bhopal, best known for three well-preserved stupas, part of a group of 51 monuments dating from the 3rd century bc to the 13th century ad. A full excavation and conservation effort was undertaken at Sanchi by John Marshall in 1912–19, bringing the monuments to their present condition. Marshall numbered the monuments 1 to 50, retaining most of the numbering allocated by Alexander Cunningham in a survey carried out in the mid-19th century. An additional monastery (51) was excavated in 1936. Since that time a Buddhist temple in an ‘Indo-revival’ style has been built on the hill, and the site’s Archaeological Museum constructed near the railway station.

Sanchi does not seem to have been the focus of any event in the life of the Buddha or his immediate followers. It prospered largely because it met the requirements for an ideal Buddhist retreat: situated on a hill 90 m high, it was a place of beauty and tranquillity not far from the commercial and political centre of Vidisha. The earliest possible reference to Sanchi is in the ...