Notre Dame discovery: Archaeologists find ‘well preserved’ ancient tombs under cathedral

Notre Dame: Drone footage shows destruction of historic building

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info

While repairing the cathedral that was heavily damaged during the catastrophic fire of 2019, workers unearthed an ancient tomb that contained a “well preserved” body, along with other artefacts. Archaeologists believe that this “exceptional” discovery was likely a senior dignitary from the 14th century. The objects were described by the French culture ministry as being “of remarkable scientific quality”.

Archaeologists discovered the tomb during the preparatory work for rebuilding Notre Dame’s iconic lead spire, which disintegrated during the devastating fire in April 2019.

Reconstruction workers were beginning to process of rebuilding the 300ft tall spire by preparing to install scaffolding in the ground when they came across the items buried underneath the rubble.

A team of archaeologists studied the lead sarcophagus and explained to Roselyne Bachelot, France’s culture minister, how they used a mini endoscopic camera to examine the body located inside the tomb, which was partially punctured.

Christophe Besnier, the lead archaeologist said: “We saw a very well preserved body.

“You can glimpse pieces of fabric, hair and above all a pillow of leaves on top of the head, a well-known phenomenon when religious leaders were buried.”

“The fact that these plant elements still inside mean the body is in a very good state of conservation.”

At the moment, the researchers do not know the identity of the person buried.

However, early research suggests that the sarcophagus was made for a senior dignitary sometime in the 1300s.

Since the 13th century, the Notre Dame has been the final resting place for about 400 bodies, including bishops, archbishops and canons.

The archaeologists believe that these discoveries will help improve their understanding of funeral practices during the Middle Ages.

Along with the ancient tomb, they also discovered a piece of a rood screen, which was an ornate partition that was a common feature in Medieval churches.

This research is conducted by the Institute for Preventive Archaeological Research, who began excavation on February 2.

Britain’s nuclear war bunkers exposed – 258 havens across UK [MAPPED] 
Arctic horror warning as melting ice creates ‘giant sinkhole’ [INSIGHT] 
UK to avoid Putin’s EU energy wrath as huge new gas field found [REVEAL]

In light of these breakthroughs, the French culture ministry has agreed to extend the institute’s work until March 25, after which renovations on the 850-year-old church are scheduled to continue.

Much of the historic church was damaged during the massive fire, which caused the roof of the building to cave in.

Fortunately, firefighters were able to save the cathedral’s spectacular Gothic facade and two landmark towers from being destroyed.

At the time, French President Emmanuel Macron said that “the worst has been avoided”.

Mr Macron vowed to rebuild Notre Dame by 2024, which is when Paris is hosting the summer Olympics.

Since the horrifying fire, the international community has come together to collect over 340,000 donations to help with the restoration, totalling nearly €850 million (£715 million).

Source: Read Full Article