Cryptes 2014 - Jean-François Amelot

Crypts in France

A renowned historian and archaeologists presents 400 crypts in France while exploring the idea of the medieval crypt from the 4th to the 12th century.

Les cryptes en France. Pour une approche archéologique (IVe-XIIe siècle), Paris, Picard
By Christian Sapin
360 pages with 230 illustrations in colors.
A&J Picard 2014
ISBN-10: 2708409654
ISBN-13: 978-2708409651

Cryptes by Christan Sapin with phograps by Amelot - Åicard 2014 - coverCrypts seem to be pieces of architecture, which are both well-known and well-documented. However, they are also slightly mythical and spiritually inspiring places. The author of this book aims to unpack both sets of ideas by reconstructing the historical process behind the idea of the crypt as well as exploring it archaeologically as well as anthropologically.

Accordingly this book focuses on what texts may tell us about the use of spaces and routes. By reimagining the architecture and the history of the idea of the crypt, the investigation also invigorates local history. The author, Christian Sapin, archaeologist and art historian, lists about 400 crypts in France between the fourth and twelfth century, while making comparisons with other crypts in Western Europe. The book profits from 3D reconstructions as well as an exceptional contribution from the photographer Jean-François Amelot. This is a reference book that offers a unique archaeological and historical approach.


Christian Sapin, Art Historian,  is director of research at CNRS in France