Henri Seyrig

Henri Arnold Seyrig (French: [sɛʁiɡ]; 10 November 1895 – 21 January 1973) was a French archaeologist, numismatist, and historian of antiquities. He was general director of antiquities of Syria and Lebanon since 1929 and director during more than twenty years of the Institute of archaeology of Beirut.[1]

Henri Seyrig
Henri Arnold Seyrig

(1895-11-10)10 November 1895
Died21 January 1973(1973-01-21) (aged 77)
OccupationArchaeologist, historian and numismatist
Spouse(s)Hermine de Saussure
ChildrenDelphine Seyrig

Early lifeEdit

Henri was born to a liberal multi-lingual bourgeois industrial Calvinist family. His family moved to Mulhouse when his father joined the family business, he was schooled in German. He was later sent to a French Protestant private boarding school in Normandy, Ecole des Roches, Seyrig continued his education in English at Oxford until 1914.

During World War I Seyrig fought at Verdun and was decorated. In 1917 Seyrig joined the Orient contingent in Salonika where he had his first encounter with archeology and left his family business. He then attended the Sorbonne where he presented a thesis about the Homeric House and in 1922 was admitted to the French School at Athens where he spent seven years as a member and was promoted to secretary general's office.


In 1929, Seyrig was called recommended by the master of Levantine archaeology René Dussaud and was appointed General director of antiquities of Syria and Lebanon which were under French mandate. Seyrig created the French institute of archaeology in Beirut which he headed for 20 years. He moved to New York City in 1942 where he worked as a special envoy of The Free French Government until the end of the war then he returned to Beirut.

Throughout the 1950s/60s he was a visiting scholar invited by the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, living part of the year in the United States. In 1967 he left Beirut and retired in Switzerland and continued with his wife, Hermine de Saussure, to spend part of the year in Princeton, New Jersey. Their children were actress Delphine Seyrig and composer Francis Seyrig.

He was awarded the medal of the Royal Numismatic Society in 1961.[2]


  • Seyrig, Henri (June 1952). "A Helmet from Emisa". Archaeology. Archaeological Institute of America. 5 (2): 66–69. JSTOR 41663047.  
  • Seyrig, Henri (1952). "Le Casque d'Émèse". Les Annales Archéologiques de Syrie. Direction Générale des Antiquités de Syrie. II (1–2): 101–08.
  • Seyrig, Henri (1952). "Antiquités Syriennes 53: Antiquités de la Nécropole d'Émèse (1re partie)". Syria. XXIX (3–4): 204–250. doi:10.3406/syria.1952.4788. JSTOR 4390311. Archived from the original on 2019-05-02. Retrieved 2019-09-13. (in French)  
  • Seyrig, Henri (1953). "Antiquités Syriennes 53 (suite): Antiquités de la Nécropole d'Émèse". Syria. XXX (1–2): 12–50. doi:10.3406/syria.1953.4859. (in French)  
  • Seyrig, Henri (1959). "Antiquités Syriennes 76: Caractères de l'histoire d'Émèse". Syria (in French). 36 (3–4).  


  1. ^ Gérard Siebert. "Portraits et silhouettes d'Alsace" (.pdf). Revue de l'Alsace. Retrieved 18 April 2008.; "Henri Seyrig", in Je m'appelle Byblos, Jean-Pierre Thiollet, H&D (2005), p. 257; ISBN 2914266049
  2. ^ Medals: Royal Numismatic Society, numismatics.org.uk; accessed 10 March 2017.

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