"Words from Asia and the Pacific" is a series of interviews conducted by Jean-François Sabouret, Director of the Asie-Imasie Network (CNRS), with humanities researchers and experts on Asia and the Pacific.
Bruno Dagens, who was born on 19 February 1935 in Nijmegen in the Netherlands, is a historian, archaeologist and Sanskritist.
He spent his childhood in North Africa and his youth in Strasbourg. He was introduced to archaeology and research by Daniel Schlumberger during excavations at the Surkh Kotalsite in Afghanistan, and joined Conservation d'Angkor in 1965. He then divided his time between studying the iconography of the temples, classifying and inventorying the sculptures in the Angkor repository and translating a Sanskrit treatise on architecture (the Mayamata) for which he found material references in the temples of ancient Cambodia. He returned to Europe in 1972 to leave for Pondicherry in 1978, while managing the Indology section of the French Institute. He studied Shivaite texts with N.R. Bhatt and publisheed the commented inventory of an important ensemble of endangered temples of Andhra-Pradesh. In 1985, he was appointed professor at the University of Paris III and he supervised excavations in Thailand. He coordinated the protection works of the Vat Phu site in Laos on behalf of UNESCO and various operations as part of the resumption of Angkor's work for the EFEO. Simultaneously, he continued with a small team the editing of unpublished Shivaite texts. His works were all dedicated to the"Indian" temple. An illustrated bibliographical selection is presented at the end of the film.
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