• Home
  • The life of Jacques de Morgan
  • Youth and education
  • First exploration 1880-1882

Jacques de Morgan spent part of his three-year stint at the Ecole des Mines on study trips abroad, where he improved his practical knowledge and self-reliance, and developed a taste for adventure.

Sweden

For his first study trip, Jacques de Morgan was keen to travel to Sweden. His request was turned down by the inspector of the École des Mines, however, who sent him to the zinc mines of Liege. Undeterred, after spending a few days in Belgium, Morgan promptly left for Sweden. In 1882, he published the palaeontological and geological data he collected in Sweden in a dissertation entitled  Sur les terrains Crétacés de la Scandinavie(“The Cretaceous Terrains of Scandinavia”).

Having kept his journey a secret, rather than donate the specimens he had gathered to the École des Mines, he gave them to the Institut catholique, after first selling part of his collection to cover his travel expenses.

Bohemia

In 1882, Morgan travelled to Bohemia, this time with the blessing of the École des Mines. He wrote a dissertation on the silver mines of Przibram, and another on the Eule gold mine. At Eule, he was put in charge of the mine’s technical operations. He also met the eminent geologist and palaeontologist Joachim Barrande. He sent rock and ore samples to the École des Mines accompanied by sophisticated explanations of their context and composition.

Although still interested in the Cretaceaous, he was equally keen to study lower levels. He travelled so extensively he managed to write a Geology of Bohemia.