Notre-Dame: Important archaeological discovery before the reconstruction

Several burials, including a lead sarcophagus probably dating from the XNUMXth century, were discovered during an operation of archaeological excavations prior to reconstruction work on the spire of Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral, the Ministry of Culture announced on Monday. .

These remains, unearthed during this "preventive" excavation at the crossing of the transept of the cathedral, partially destroyed by the fire of April 2019, are "of remarkable scientific quality", according to the ministry.

Among these burials, “an anthropomorphic lead sarcophagus, fully preserved, has been unearthed”. It could be that of "a high dignitary, probably dating from the XNUMXth century", according to the same source.

The operation also brought to light, immediately below the current paving level of the cathedral, “the existence of a pit in which were buried polychrome sculpted elements identified as belonging to the former rood screen of Notre-Dame [ tribune forming a stone or wooden fence and separating the liturgical choir from the nave, editor's note], built around 1230 and destroyed at the beginning of the XNUMXth century”.

During his work, in the middle of the XNUMXth century, Viollet-Le-Duc, designer of the spire, had found other fragments of this rood screen, now on display at the Louvre Museum.

This excavation was undertaken by the National Institute for Preventive Archaeological Research (INRAP) prior to the assembly of the scaffolding necessary for the reconstruction of the spire, since February 2.

The public establishment responsible for the conservation and restoration of Notre-Dame Cathedral has made it possible to continue them until March 25, according to the ministry, which could not provide details as to their future.

The editorial staff (with AFP)

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