This program initiated in 2020 focuses on problems of vocabulary. Indeed, specialised terms concerning archaeology, art history and architecture both in Chinese and in Japanese, rarely feature in bilingual dictionaries, which makes reading books and articles on these subjects particularly difficult. Moreover, this vocabulary isn’t included in unilingual Chinese and Japanese dictionaries either. Some attempts have been made to publish glossaries. But these are limited to everyday vocabulary and cannot reflect the language’s evolution. In China for example, the introduction of western concepts over the last thirty years in different fields such as art history, archaeology and the conservation of architectural heritage, has forced scholars to create new terms. In the mean time, other terms that were used in the first half of the 20th century have since disappeared. In this way, the glossary will necessarily include a historical aspect—for the terms that are today abandoned remain in books and articles of that period.


To address the challenges that this situation presents, it is necessary to create our own glossary, which is what most scholars do. By pooling together everyone’s expertise, we will be able to make an extremely useful tool accessible to all. The creation of this tool will also foster fruitful exchanges between scholars, and cause them to reflect on their own discipline. The glossary is produced in stages, according to the disciplinary field of the researchers involved in the project. For the present five-year period, the project is starting in the fields of archaeology (China, Japan) and architectural history (Japan).

Expected Results

We aim to create an illustrated online glossary that will be freely accessible to all researchers. This glossary will be of great interest to them as well as to students working in these research fields.


Preparation of the program and looking into expertise external to the Research Unit; initiation of the program in the course of 2020; organisation of a China/Japan seminar focused on problems of terminology, preparation of a database (2021-2022 and 2022-2023); specialised workshops on specific topics (architecture, gardens, textiles, ceramics, field archaeology, ancient terminology—based on literary sources, etc.); progressive augmentation of the online glossary by topic.

Scientific output and planned scientific activities

Creation of a website freely accessible to all.



archaeology culture visuelle histoire de l’art



Nicolas Fiévé (École Pratique des Hautes Études)
Alain Thote (École Pratique des Hautes Études)

CRCAO members

Full members
Nicolas Fiévé (École Pratique des Hautes Études)
Guoqiang Li (Université Paris Nanterre)
Mechtild Mertz (CNRS)
Alain Thote (École Pratique des Hautes Études)
Olivier Venture (École Pratique des Hautes Études)

Associated members
Lyce Jankowski (Royal Museum of Mariemont)
Yumiko Takagi (DaitôBunka University)
Corinne Tiry-Ono (French Ministry of Culture)
Diane Zhang-Goldberg (Independent)

Alia Demnati (Independent)
Gilles Mastalski (École Pratique des Hautes Études)
Delphine Vomscheid (Université Paris Cité)

Doctoral students
Pauline Duval (École Pratique des Hautes Études)
Céline Pisseloup (École Pratique des Hautes Études)

Outside Participants

Eric Boudot
Emmanuel Marès
Laurent Nespoulous (Inalco)