the essential Founding President of the Historical and Archaeological Society of Albret, Alain Broqua cultivates his knowledge through ancient documents. A well-informed scholar who wants to share his findings with a wider audience.
Like them, Alain Broqua draws on past times to scientifically transcribe them. An occupation that soothes his mind from an early age, when the child of the time organized his first excavations. Born in Bordeaux, Alain comes from a family of farmers from Gers. Arrived in Nérac at the age of 6, he is a curious kid, already intrigued by the soil and its buried riches. “I had found flints in my father’s field” he remembers.
“The encounter with History”
If the school path is vague, the interest in different subjects is less compared to old documents preserved in the Gers as in Lot-et-Garonne. “I had no time to waste at school” sums up the retiree laconically.
After obtaining a CAP in photography, the Néracais embraces his passion through a precious knowledge: “My parents’ neighbor was the archivist Charles Samaran.” A form of admiration then develops, and this honorable acquaintance leads Alain Broqua directly to the heart of his passion, the departmental archives of Lot-et-Garonne: “I entered it in 1967 and I retired in 2009 “. During this rich career, the photographer immortalizes thousands of civil records and can devote himself without limit to his historical research: “I think I have made at least 2 million photographs of documents. I have also undertaken the classification of all the cadastral matrices “details the historian, fulfilled by his profession:” What I like is the encounter with old papers, the encounter with History “. When he is not archiving the paperwork, Alain Broqua devotes his free time to archeology. Its first discovery occurs in Nérac, in the hamlet of Bréchan, where the remains of a Roman villa appear in broad daylight during a construction site. Pique, the man continues his investigations in the Albret.
A heritage to pass on
In the Mézinais, a statue of the god Jupiter is found, in Nérac, it will be a head of the god Mercury. His most beautiful find: “An ax from the Bronze Age dated – 700 BC”. The importance of these recovered collections pushes the budding archaeologist to publish the first drafts of his research. So in 1979, he founded the Historical and Archaeological Society alongside a community sharing this frenzy of bygone times: “In total, we compile 3 400 pages of history and archeology “. With its backbone made up of ten active members, the structure multiplies its publications. But at 75 years, the indefatigable excavator gradually eased the foot, somewhat confused by the various procedures now mandatory to organize searches. And if the work carried out is exceptional, Alain Broqua preserves a certain humility: “It is not much. There remains so much to do.” Never mind, Alain does not lose his ambition: “I would like to publish everything that the Historical Society has discovered since its existence.” Enough to assure the association a few more reviews enhanced by the knowledge of its founding president.