WHAT IS THE CERAV?
Founded in 1978 by a number of professional or amateur ethnologists and archaeologists under the aegis of Professor Christian Lassure, the Centre d'études et de recherches sur l'architecture vernaculaire (Centre for the study and investigation of vernacular architecture) is a French-based independent society whose objects are the study, popularisation and preservation of the vernacular architecture heritage handed down by past generations, and in particular of dry stone structures, in France and abroad.
For these purposes, the CERAV publishes several periodical journals which supply specialists of the field with invaluable knowledge in the form of articles relating to fundamentals and methods, local surveys and inventories, bibliographies, etc. :
- L'Architecture vernaculaire (Vernacular Architecture), a yearly volume plus occasional supplements to it ;
- Etudes et recherches d'architecture vernaculaire (Studies in Vernacular Architecture), a yearly in-depth study or monograph ;
- Pierre sèche (Dry Stone), its newsletter.
Moreover, in cooperation with regional or local societies, the CERAV organizes conferences on the latest research in the field, with a view to enabling specialists to get together and discuss their respective findings and experiences :
- 1982 : Viols-le-Fort (Hérault), The evolution of dry stone building techniques in Languedocian housing from the Neolithic Age to contemporary times ;
- 1987 : Sorges (Dordogne), Vernacular architectures, techniques and traditions in Périgord ;
- 1997 : Blauzac (Gard), The art of dry stone building in Languedoc and Provence: from the builders of the Golden Age (18th-19th centuries) to present-day restorers ;
- 1998 : Les Vans (Ardèche), Makers of fields, builders of cultivated terraces and dry stone shelters in Ardèche - The myriad forms of dry stone architecture: similarities and dissimilarities ;
- 1999 : Saint-Vallier-de-Thiey (Alpes-Maritimes), Dry stone architecture in Provence and neighbouring regions ;
- 2000 : Anduze (Gard), Dating dry stone constructions through inscribed dates, written documents and oral evidence ;
- 2001 : Saint-Clément-sur-Guye (Saône-et-Loire), Dry stone architecture in Burgundy and neighbouring regions ;
- 2004 : Salon-de-Provence (Bouches-du-Rhône) (Dry stone architecture in general, no specific subject) (organised by Jean Laffitte, CERAV 's contributing member in the Alpes-Maritimes department) ;
- 2005 : Avallon (Yonne) (Dry stone architecture in general, no specific theme) (organised by Josiane Maxel, President of the "Comité des meurgers").
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