First record, 11th century Castrum Saint Michaelis
The nearby Haute-Provence Observatory was established in 1937 so we're supposing the name of the commune had the suffix "L'Observatoire" added about that time.
Prehistoric: Paleolithic sites were locatade at Aurifeuille (2 km north), La Nouvenière and Gayol.
Celto-Ligurian: Over 20 oppidums were located on the hilltops in the area around the village.
Gallo-Roman: The Roman Domitienne Way (Voie Domitienne) passed by the southern edge of the commune, between Forcalquier and Céreste and on to Apt. Today's N100 highway coincides roughly with the Roman road, looping around the Roman ford Reculon 1 km east of Lincel. The "borne de Tavernoure" sits 5 km east of Saint Michel, marking the boundary between the municipalities of Mane, Dauphin and Saint-Michel. This milestone may have marked the place of a roman road station along the Via Domitia.
A Roman meules (millstone) carving factory was located at Pary, and a Roman funeral stone was discovered at the Tour de Pompéia [we haven't located either of these places].
Medieval: The original Castrum Saint Michaelis was a fortified village. There was monastery here, abandoned in the 13th century. The village was ruled by the Lords of d'Agoult until the 14th century and of the Marin until the 17th century.
The village of Lincel, 2 km southwest, was a Barony, first mentioned in the 13th century. The church in Lincel was founded in 1190 by Ganfredi de Lindel, the Bishop of Gap.
More Recently: Saint Michel L'Observatoire combined with the commune of Lincel in 1973
• GPS: 43.910822, 5.715944
IGN (1/25,000) #3342 OT "Manosque, Forcalquier"
IGN (1/25,000) #3341 ouest "Forcalquier"
Didier Richard (1/50,000) #28 "Montagne de Lure, Val de Durance"
Bright yellow hiking direction signs in the main square show the numerous trails that loop out from the village. A large panel has a map of a half-dozen color-coded loop hikes in all the different directions from the center [Photo-13].