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ARCHIAC, ÉTIENNE JULES ADOLPHE DESMIER DE SAINT SIMON, Vicomte D’ (1802-1868), French geologist and palaeontologist, was born at Reims on the 24th of September 1802. He was educated in the Military School of St Cyr, and served for nine years as a cavalry officer until 1830, when he retired from the service. Prior to this he had published an historical romance; but now geology came to occupy his chief attention. In his earlier scientific works, which date from 1835, he described the Tertiary and Cretaceous formations of France, Belgium and England, and dealt especially with the distribution of fossils geographically and in sequence. Later on he investigated the Carboniferous, Devonian and Silurian formations. His great work, Histoire des progrès de la géologie, 1834-1859, was published in 8 volumes at Paris (1847-1860). In 1853 the Wollaston Medal of the Geological Society was awarded to him. In the same year, with Jules Haime (1824-1856), he published a monograph on the Nummulitic formation of India. In 1857 he was elected a member of the Academy of Sciences, and in 1861 he was appointed professor of palaeontology in the Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle in Paris. Of later works his Paléontologie stratigraphique, in 3 vols. (1864-1865); his Géologie et paléontologie (1866); and his palaeontological contributions to de Tchihatcheff’s Asie mineure (1866), may be specially mentioned.

He died on the 24th of December 1868.

See Notice sur les travaux scientifiques du vicomte d’Archiac, par A. Gaudry (Meulan, 1874); Extrait du Bull. Soc. Géol. de France, ser. 3, t. ii. p. 230 (1874).


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