INA Director Claude Duthuit received one of France's highest honors, having been chosen for the Legion of Honor, the society founded by Napoleon to recognize meritorious service. The citation that accompanied his election spoke especially of his work in establishing a foundation to protect authors' rights and intellectual property, but it also praised his pioneering role in the development of underwater archaeology.
l am especially proud of this honor bestowed on Claude Duthuit, who took me on my first open-water dive in 1960, in the Bosphorus, as we prepared to undertake together the first complete excavation of an ancient shipwreck on the seabed, at Cape Gelidonya, Turkey. We were both then still in our twenties.
Throughout the 1960s, Claude remained a permanent member of our University of Pennsylvania team, serving as chief diver during our excavations of two Byzantine shipwrecks at Yassıada . It was then and there that so many of the techniques of underwater excavation, now considered standard, were developed.
During those days, it was Claude, calm and at his best under pressure, to whom I usually turned in times of crisis. Perhaps he did not rattle easily because of his background. After studying cartography, he had been an Alpine guide, and then served as a combat platoon sergeant in Algeria; at our camp at Cape Gelidonya he received the dreadful news that most of his former unit had been killed in an ambush.
But Claude was more than a man of action. Most evenings in camp saw him propped on one elbow in his sleeping bag, a flickering kerosene lantern by his head, reading some book on European history. His own book, Turquie, published in 1969 by the prestigious L'Atlas des Voyages series, beautifully captures the spirit and feel of the country he had come to love. And the film he produced on our work in 1961-62, shown on television around the world, remains a nostalgic record of the days when Bodrum, now a major tourist city, was still a small town of sponge divers and citrus growers, where camels rather than trucks hauled cargoes.
When l left the field of underwater archaeology for four years at the end of the decade, Claude and I went our separate ways. His interest in archaeology may have been influenced by his father, Georges Duthuit, noted Byzantine art historian and curator at the Louvre. Now, educated in art by his mother, Marguerite, daughter of the painter Henri Matisse, Claude dedicated himself more and more to protecting the integrity of his grandfather's work by compiling unique archives of the artist: Henri Matisse: Catalogue raisonne'des ouvrages illustre's (Paris 1988), and, with Marguerite Duthuit-Matisse, Henri Matisse: Catalogue raisonne'del'ouoregrave', two volumes (Paris 1983). According to his Legion of Honor citation, these works and the unpublished materials Claude has made available to art historians, as well as loans to various museums, have greatly enriched recent Matisse exhibitions such as those in New York and Paris.
After fate brought us together again in 1976, Claude joined INA's board of Directors. Can there be a more loyal director? Immediately after his marriage to Barbara, they flew to our annual board meeting in Dallas, and then drove back to College Station with Ann and me. I suspect that newlyweds have flown from College Station to Paris, but surely this was the first couple who ever came from Paris to College Station for their honeymoon!
Finally, it was Claude, an annual visitor to Bodrum, who suggested that we return to Cape Gelidonya, three decades after our excavation there. His insight led to visits in which well-preserved 13th-century B.C. pottery and a Near Eastern stone anchor were found, solidifying my controversial conclusion that in 1960 we had excavated a 13th-century Canaanite ship. Thanks, Claude. We hope to return once more to Cape Gelidonya, in 2010, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of what many consider to have been 'the birth of modern shipwreck archaeology.
Thanks, Legionnaire Duthuit!