Olivier Picard (4 March 1940 – 1 September 2023): A Legacy in Archaeology
Olivier Picard, a distinguished French archaeologist, made significant contributions to the field throughout his prolific career. Born on 4 March 1940, he hailed from a family deeply ingrained in academia, with both his parents, Gilbert Charles-Picard and Colette Picard, and grandfather Charles Picard being historians and archaeologists.
Picard pursued his education at the École normale supérieure, completing his studies in 1960. He furthered his academic journey by achieving his agrégation of history in 1964, marking the beginning of an illustrious career. In 1966, he became a member of the prestigious French School at Athens, solidifying his commitment to archaeology.
Throughout the early 1970s, Picard immersed himself in academia, joining the Paris West University Nanterre La Défense in 1971 and ultimately obtaining a professorship in 1979. Notably, from 1981 to 1992, he held the esteemed position of director at the French School at Athens, a testament to his leadership and expertise.
Returning to Nanterre, he continued to excel, earning a position at Paris IV-Sorbonne and directing the graduate school of ancient and medieval history. His passion for archaeology drove him to lead excavations at historically significant sites, including Thasos and Lato.
In recognition of his expertise, Picard assumed crucial roles within academic and archaeological societies. He presided over the Société française de numismatique and the “Association des études grecques,” showcasing his influence and dedication to advancing knowledge in these domains. In a significant honor, he was elected as a member of the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres on 24 April 2009, occupying François Chamoux’s seat.
Tragically, on 1 September 2023, Olivier Picard passed away in Thasos, Greece, at the age of 83. His enduring contributions to archaeology and academia continue to shape the understanding of ancient civilizations, leaving an indelible mark on the field and inspiring future generations of archaeologists.