The Director

Dr. Christian Tutundjian de Vartavan B.A., M.Sc., Ph.D. (Science) – all University College London, Univ. of London. Founder and director of  the Armenian Egyptology Centre, YSU. 


NEW! ‘Efficient Scholar 2013‘ State Award (Superior Council for Science of the Republic of Armenia)

(01-2012) See the First National State Channel (H1)’s public acknowledgment of Dr. de Vartavan’s work (in Armenian)  as well as  a subsequent interview in English on Both now available on YouTube!

With over 29 scientific discoveries – on the increase – published in six books and over thirty five articles, Dr. de Vartavan,  is a leading scientist of our times. Dr. de Vartavan’s academic work – it is not always realized – is recognised by independent specialists to be historical or fundamental in six different scientific disciplines: Economic botany, archaeology, botany, Egyptology, archaeobotany (paleoethnobotany) and philosophy of science (more precisely the classification of science) with recently marking advances in a seventh field: linguistics. Whereas he is one of the few scholars in the history of mankind to have proposed a general philosophy for the general classification of sciences and arts, and one which is increasingly cited worldwide.  A fit very seldom seen, and possibly unmatched in the scientific history of Armenia.

His scientific work – which already earned him in 1992 a major grant from the prestigious Fondation Fyssen (Paris) –  entered various major publications or places including in:

  • 2000 –  Both volumes of the Cambridge World History of Food (Cambridge University Press, UK) for several major discoveries and advances in Economic Botany/Archaeobotany.
  • 2004 –  Archaeology, an Introduction (4th edition, Pennsylvania State University press (USA, p. 200), for his work on the plant remains from Tutankhamun’s tomb. Now on its 6th edition (Routledge, UK) and one of the best archaeology text books for students.
  • 2007 – The history of botany (Online Public hearings (14-12-2007 & 12-12-2008) of the Botanical Society of France (National History Museum of Paris) with the mention “excellent” for his work on the botany of ancient Egypt (Codex of Ancient Egyptian Plant Remains).
  • 2007 – The national history of Armenia (new National Biographic Dictionary of the Republic of Armenia [Ov Ov é Haier], p. 719-720) for having founded Egyptology in this country.
  •  2008 – The history of Egyptology (Egyptology Today, Cambridge University Press, Chapter 1, p. 15) for his work on the Tutankhamun plant remains described as of “unexpected value” and cited as the type example of the new scientific Egyptology developed and practised during these last decades.
  • 2009 – Integrating Zooarchaeology and Paleoethnobotany: A Consideration of Issues, Methods & Cases. (Springer: p. 43). A landmark publication where his new archaeobotanical methodologies are recognised as fundamental in this separate field.

Where Egyptology is concerned, he is the only Frenchman and Armenian to have so far seen part of Tutankhamun’s tomb funerary material reserved for him for study by the Egyptian Government. Study which has been the object of worldwide attention with articles in leading journals ranging from The Times (UK), to The Washington Post (USA), Isvestia (Russia) or Yiomiuri (Japan), as well as making national news in France, the UK and elsewhere (1988). His leading in Venice (Italy) in 1995 of an international team (France, Italy and Spain) to unwrap the mummy of Namenkhet Amon was supported by companies such as Sony and Olympus, research institutions like the Rothschild Ophtamological Institute, press organs like Géo Magazine. The mission was also the object of a film by the most esteemed of France’s television magazine (Envoyé Spécial, France 2) which was hailed as the scientific documentary which marked the most the French nation over ten years and was hence diffused again in 2002 on prime time. It was not only broadcasted by televisions worldwide, but Dr. T. de Vartavan’s action during the mission directly inspired the romanced scenario of the film “Belphegor” with Sophie Marceau adapting his role. Simultaneously the same mission won the World Prize Photo contest in the scientific category. Dr. de Vartavan, participated in archaeological expeditions in France, England, Jordan, Syria and of course Egypt. He has travelled in Libya and the Sahara as far as the oasis of Ghadames and in most other countries of the Mediterranean area.

Since 2006 he is the founder of Egyptology in Armenia and director of this republic’s first Egyptology centre (AEC). On the 17th of January 2012 – The first state television channel (H1) made a public acknowledgment of the scientific work made in the centre and of the creation of Egyptology in Armenia (YouTube video here). The newsletter of the center is now read by over 1700 scholars from 51 countries . This AEC Egyptology newsletter is stored on under the account of our Head Librarian Ashkhen Zakharyan.The publications of Dr. de Vartavan are also currently been stored on under his name.

Publications of Dr. C. T. de Vartavan :


Linguistics (hieroglyphics)

  • 2014. ‘Leather’ and ‘skin’ as markers of early exchanges between Western Asia and Egypt? Journal of Ancient Egyptian Interconnections (Arizona Univ.) 6 (2)
  • 2014. The Indo-asiatic origin of gAS, the Ancient Egyptian name for the wild sugar cane (Saccharum spontaneum L.). Journal of Ancient Egyptian Interconnections (Arizona Univ.) 6 (2)
  • 2013. New Method to Vocalize Ancient Egyptian Based on Specific Offering Texts of a Poetic Nature. Armenian Egyptology Centre Fundamental Research Paper 2: 1-24
  • 2011. Ancient Egyptian Words Cognates of their Equivalents in Proto-Indo European and Various Indo-European Languages? Advances in Egyptology 2: 5-63.
  • 2010. Snt[r]/snt[r] means « [divine/Godly] scent ». Advances in Egyptology 1: 5 -17.
  • 2009. Several Ancient Egyptian Numerals are Cognates of “Indo-European” and Proto “Indo-European” Equivalents. Armenian Egyptology Centre Fundamental Research Paper  1: 1- 12.
  • 1987. “Egyptian barley: a [philological] reassesment”. Wepwawet, discussions in Egyptology, 3: 11-14. Dept. of Egyptology, University College London.

Ancient Egyptian art & technology (& Egyptian archaeobotany)

  • 2009 British Museum’s major discovery of degraded oil in ancient Egyptian pigments. AEC-Newsletter 10: 3.
  • 2009 Labelling ancient Egyptian complex-media varnishes as “imperial”. Journal of Ancient Egyptian Interconnections (Arizona Univ.) 1 (2): 26-28. [2009e Armenian translation in Handes Amsorya, Zeitschriftfür Armenische Philologie (Vienna, Austria) CXXIII (Heft 1-12): 365-375.]
  • 2009 Not only “Imperial varnishes”, but also “Imperial pigments”, and thus clearly “Imperial art and technology”. AEC-Newsletter 9: 1-2. 
  • 2009 Reviving the lost ancient Egyptian art of sarcophagus making [including Egyptian blue experiments].The Heritage of Egypt (Cairo, Egypt)  2 (2-5; May): 3-11.
  • 2008 Reconstructing the art of ancient Egyptian sarcophagus making! AEC-Newsletter No. 8: 1. 
  • 2008 Labeling ancient Egyptian complex varnishes as: “Imperial“. AEC-Newsletter 7: 1. 
  • 2008 Is Mny the solvent in Ancient Egyptian varnishes. AEC-Newsletter 3: 1.
  • 2007 Pistacia species in relation to their use as varnish and “incense” (sntr) in Pharaonic Egypt. Bulletin of Parthian and Mixed Oriental Studies 2: 61-90.
  • 2006 Les racines de l’Egypte sont dans sa nature. In : d’Amicone, E. et Giacobino, E. (eds.) De la nature à l’art – Histoire de pierres, d’animaux et des plantes dans la vallée du Nil : 125-128. Musée de Turin (Italie) et Conseil Général de Nice. Catalogue de l’exposition Nice-Cimiez de juillet à janvier 2006. 4 pages.
  • 1998 Sources végétales possibles ou connues pour les colorants, liants et vernis de l’Egypte ancienne”. In: “La Couleur dans la Peinture et l’Emaillage de l’Egypte Ancienne” : 51-63. Edipuglia, Bari. Actes du colloque  du  22 Mars 1997 au Centre Universitaire Européen pour les Biens Culturels, Ravello, Italie. 11 pages.

Studies on the landscape, flora and economy of Ancient Egypt and of other countries (Archaeobotany, economic botany)

  • 2010Codex  of Ancient Egyptian Plant Remains/Codex des restes végétaux de l’Egypte ancienne. Second revised and extended edition. SAIS, London. With A.  Arakelyan & V. Asensi-Amoros.
  • 2006 Note carpologique sur les restes végétaux enchâssés au dos des ostraca de la collection Clermont-Ganneau. In : La collection Clermont-Ganneau. Ostraca, épigraphes sur jarre, étiquettes de bois. Mémoire de l’Académie des Inscriptions et Belles Lettres (Institut de France)– Nouvelle Série. Tome XXXV. H. LOZACHMEUR (ed.à Avec les contributions de Pascale Ballet, Jean Menier, Anne Schmitt, Léonidas Tsacas, Christian de Vartavan et le concours de Maria Gorea, Michel Pezin (†), Madeleine Schneider. 2 vol. : Vol. 1 : 560 p. ; vol. 2 : 347 pl., déc. 20.
  • 2002 (& 2012 reprint) 2nd updated: 1999Hidden Fields of Tutankhamun. From Identification to Interpretation of Unknown Plant Material from the Pharaoh’s Grave. 221 pages + 376 photographs. Sais Academic Publisher, London. Second revised edition with colour plates. Second 2012 reprint without.
  • 2002 Analyses et interprétation des restes végétaux. In : Midant-Reynes, B. and Buchez, N. Adaïma.1. Economie et habitat. Institut Français d’Archéologie Orientale. Fouilles de l’IFAO 45 : 485-519.34 pages.
  • 2001 KING, A., A. WALDRON, M. JONES, J. REED y CHR. DE VARTAVAN, “La evidenciapaleoambiental” en S. Keay, J. Creighton y J. Remesal Rodríguez, Celti (Peñaflor). La arqueología de una ciudad hispanorromana en la Baetica: Prospecciones y excavaciones 1987-1992, Sevilla.
  • 1999 Hidden Fields of Tutankhamun. From Identification to Interpretation of Unknown Plant Material from the Pharaoh’s Grave. 221 pages + 376 photographs. Triade Exploration, London.
  • 1998 2nd EDITION OF: 1996. La paléobotanique et les débuts de l’agriculture en Egypte. Archéo-Nil,6. Under the new title : “L’archéobotanique et les débuts de l’agriculture en Egypte” [With corrections and additions.]
  • 1997 Codex of Ancient Egyptian Plant Remains/Codex des restes végétaux de l’Egypte ancienne. Triade Exploration, London. V. Asensi Amorós co-auteur. 407 pages.
  • 1997 “Las Nuevas Técnicas en la Egiptologia“. In Mangado, M.L. (ed.) La Tierra del Toro Apis. Dioses, Reyes y Hombres del Egipto Faraónico. Catalogue de l’Exposition de Pamplone (Octobre Novembre) : 44. V. Asensi Amorós co-auteur. 1 page.
  • 1996 Flore de l’Égypte prédynastique 20.000-5.000 BP: Étude préliminaire”. In de Vartavan, C.(General editor), La paléobotanique et les débuts de l’agriculture en Égypte. Archéo-Nil 6: 9 – 16. Paris (Cabinet d’Egyptologie, Collège de France). 8/122 pages + introduction of volume.
  • 1993  “Combined-systems” analysis for the interpretation of the Tutankhamun plant-remains“. Ph.D.thesis. Institute of Archaeology, University College, University of London. 295 pages + second volume of plates [The thesis was extended and published in 1997 as “Hidden Fields of Tutankhamun“.
  • 1993.Analyses pluri-systématiques pour l’ interprétation des restes végétaux de la tombe de Toutankhamon. Annales de la Fondation Fyssen, 8 (Novembre, 93): 9-22. Fondation Fyssen, Paris. 14 pages.
  • 1992 Preview to a “Combined-systems” analysis for the interpretation of the Tutankhamun plant remains. Actes de l “Arqueologia Medioambiental a traves de los macrorestos vegetales. Palacio de Exposiciones y Congresos (Madrid, 7 y 8 de Noviembre de 1991). CESIC”.
  • 1992 Appendix -Rapport préliminaire sur les restes végétaux d’Adaïma”. Bulletin de l’ Institut Francais d’ Archéologie Orientale, 92: 244-246. Institut Francais d’Archéologie Orientale, Le Caire. 3 pages.
  • 1991. Appendix B. Preliminary report on the plant remains from Sataf”. Levant, XXIII: 50-52. London. 2 pages.
  • 1990  A note concerning a new way to build a reference collection. Circea, 6: 121-124. Cambridge. 4 pages.
  • 1990  Contaminated plant-foods from the tomb of Tutankhamun: A new interpretive system”. Journal of Archaeological Science, 17: 473-494. Academic press, London. 22 pages.
  • 1988 Thirty one samples of plant remains from the tomb of Tutankhamun. M.Sc. thesis. Institute of Archaeology, University of London.
  • In press: With Hillman, G. The plant remains from Sataf in Palestine (Early Bronze Age). Shimon Gibson (ed.)

Religious studies (History)

  • 2006 Bes, The Bow-legged Dwarf or the Ladies” companion – a revised unpublished study (1986).Bulletin of Parthian and Mixed Oriental Studies 1 (2005): 81-95
  • 1987. “Egyptian Motives and Phoenician Religion“. B.A. thesis, University College London, Univ. of London.
  • 1986 “The origin, development and function of the Shm known as the Naos-Sistrum”. Wepwawet, discussions in Egyptology, 2: 26-30. University College London.
  • 1986 A Wooden sistrum handle”. Varia Aegyptiaca 2, No. 1: 73-78. Van Siclen, San Antonio, Texas.


General public

  • 2013 ‘Value for Money in Ancient Egypt’ [In English] Forbes-Armenia online.
  • 2013 ‘Value for Money in Ancient Egypt’ [In Armenian] Forbes-Armenia 1: 90-94.
  • 2012 « Value for Money in Ancient Egypt » [In Georgian]. Forbes – Georgia 3 (4): 102-109.
  • 2006 « Un mausolée royal pour les pharaons ». Point de Vue 31-06-2006 : 50-53. Paris.
  • 2004 Nil en Rê Majeur. La religion de l’Égypte ancienne expliquée par le biais d’un voyage sur le Nil d’Assouan à Alexandrie. Sais, London-Paris. About 250 pages.
  • 1998 “Pour comprendre les hiéroglyphes” et “Le mystère de la Pierre de Rosette”. In “Les Savants en Égypte (1798). Ouvrage collectif à l’occasion de l’exposition consacrée au bicentenaire de l’Expédition d’Égypte au Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle. Éditions Nathan, Paris : 87 et 90.
  • 1997 “Les pharaons étaient-ils tous de race noire?”. Géo Magazine 215: 123-128. Paris.
  • 1995  Des corps préparés pour vivre aux cotés du dieu Amon-Ré. Géo Magazine 200: 200-201. Paris.
  • 1995 Ce patrimoine exceptionnel a faillit disparaître [La Science et les momies]. Géo Magazine 200: 196-198. Paris.


  • 2009 Thank you Mr. Obama for returning its Letters of Nobility to “history” and…therefore to the task of “historian”. AEC-Newsletter  No. 10: 1-2.
  • 2008 “Mummies are not Museum “Objects”. AEC-Newsletter 4: 1-2. Available online.
  • 2007  “Ethical Charter for Good Egyptology Practice”.

Philosophy of Sciences

  • 2006A General Relational Classification of Sciences for Practical Applications”. Projectis – Etude Vartavan’s Precise Case Study 200603-03C [First version published in 2005]. Paris. 12 pages.
  • 2008The Vartavan Frame“. Revised 2008 & 2012. 25 pages

Historical notes

  • 2009 “A letter of Sir Gaston Maspero to an aspirant Egyptologist”. AEC Egyptology Newsletter 12: 3.
  • 2008 “Our predecessors in the study of the “Plants of Ancient Egypt”: Georg A. Schweinfurth (1836-1925). AEC-Newsletter 4: 3.
  • 2008. “Our predecessors in the study of the “Plants of Ancient Egypt”: Victor Loret (1859-1946). AEC-Newsletter 3: 3
  • 2008. “Our predecessors in the study of the “Plants of Ancient Egypt”: Carl Sigismund Kunth (1788-1850). AEC-Newsletter 2: 3.
  • 2008.  “In Memoriam Champollioni”.  Director’s Edito. AEC-Newsletter 1: 1.


2 thoughts on “The Director

  1. Dr Tutundjian de Vartavan: I am a member of EM Hotep BBS on facebook and learned though them that you are having some health problems. Wishing you better health in 2015.

    • Dear Mr Stevens, thank you for your kind words and wishes. I am much better now although treatment will continue for some months. Please write to me through to tell me of your whereabouts and activities. Best. Christian de Vartavan

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