1983-1989 : The Origins

The concerns of the GRAAL, first archeology, then gradually all the components of an area's patrimony, always had in common the attachment to the littoral (from the north of Cassel own to Calais and Ghyvelde), the geographical and historical specificities of each always having consequences on the other.

First excavation, directed by Yves Beauchamp, in Thérouanne. The actors of the excavation, all voluntary workers, came from professional high-shools (Guynemer i Saint-Pol sur Mer and Chatelet in Roubaix). An exposition was organized simultaneously. It is, in some respects, a founder excavation, which set a few principles for the movement to come:

- voluntary work

- participation of young people coming from different schools

- mediatisation of the archeological operations, in order to sensibilize the public to the research by this means made accessible.


Second excavation in Thérouanne. The principles aforementioned seem to impose themselves as a task to carry on.

December: First excavation in Dunkerque. In an action initiated by Mr Leman, Curator in charge for Antiquities (the function is now called Regional Curator of Archeology), the voluntary group led by Yves Beaucamp intervenes in the Saint-Eloi church. The staff in charge for excavation is now recruited in the brand new "club archeo" created in the professionnal High-School Guynemer Saint-Pol sur Mer. The voluntary work is more than ever asserted as the twenty days of excavation were hardly subsidized:

1000 francs (100 pounds / 170 $) allocated by the Curator in charge for Antiquities

1125 francs (112.5 pounds / 190$) collected in the Saint Eloi Church by the religious authorities in charge.

Two excavations are accomplished.

- "Le camp des nomades" in Loon Plage

- The "rue Aupyck" in Gravelines. During this operation, the town provides the staff with accomodation and organizes a restauration service. Moreover, the operation triggered various field works in local schools (Guynemer sur Mer and Coudekerque Branche)

Inauguration of the "Club Archeo" in Coudekerque Branche (Ferdinand Léger high school)

Excavation in the Beffroi (belfry) of Gravelines