Henri Marchal

Henri Marchal (1876, Paris-1970, Siem Reap), director of the Archaeology Department at the École française d'Extrême-Orient, served as Chief Conservator of Angkor from 1916 -- after Jean Commaille was killed by looters -- till 1936, and then again after Second World War II, from 1947 till 1953.

Traveling extensively through the Far East (and also Egypt and Greece), the tireless archeologist led the discovery and restauration of multiple Angkorian sites, from Angkor Thom's Victory Gate to the Elephants Terrace to the Bakheng Temple, Preah Khan, and many more.   

In 1930, Henri Marchal had studied during a trip to Java and Bali the anastylosis technique, invented by a team led by the scholar Stein-Callenfels (1883-1938) from the Netherlands Indies Archaeological Service in Java. For the first time, he applied this method to the Banteay Srei temple, having the remaining structure taken apart piece by piece, each numbered, and the stones reassembled one by one.

Officially retired in 1957, he spent the rest of his life in his house by the Siem Reap River, working on his Nouveau Guide d'Angkor (published in 1961), writing, reading and listening to music.