Ancient skeletons have been found in Paris’s old soil called Ile de la Cite. This is the place of Notre Dame’s location. Overall, this wasn’t intentional excavation. It’s all part of the project around the construction of the railway station, so the remains surfaced by chance. Two processes are parallel: the expansion of the Port Royal station and the excavation of archaeological remains.
Ancient Skeletons Found at Lutetia’s Cemetery
The site of the station was once a Roman city, Lutetia. It was also a home to the Gallic Parisii tribe. There are about 50 remains found on the site, and they are part of Lutetia’s cemetery. People used it as a cemetery, beginning somewhere between the first and third centuries. Also, archaeologists discovered its purpose in the 19th century. But archaeologists from that period made a big mistake.
They focused on material objects, instead of human remains. The archaeologists did this, regardless of the fact that they had information about the area’s past. They totally left the tombs out of consideration. “What’s so exceptional about this is that we have a window into our past, which is quite rare in this city”, Dominique Garcia, president of France’s National Institute of Preventive Archaeological Research, said.
“Drawing on their funeral rites, we can reach a kind of general vision of the people who lived in Paris in the second century”, he added. The skeletons include the remains of men, women, and children. The remains were found in wooden coffins, according to Parisian custom. As a result, aside from the skeletons, just minor fragments of wood and metal nails were left behind.
Artifacts Found at the Side Served as an Insurance for the Afterlife
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Small things like porcelain and glass cups and jugs, as well as the remnants of clothes like belts, pins, or shoes, came across in about half of the burials. Also, a penny appeared in the jaws of some skeletons within the coffin. This was probably a sacrifice made to the god Charon, who carried the deceased to the afterlife.
There was also a sacrifice mound. It comes with a complete pig’s skeleton, two enormous ceramic bowls, two more tiny animals. The goal is the assurance of the deceased’s existence in the afterlife. Scientists anticipate that the discovery will not only reveal information about the life of the Parish, but also DNA testing material. In this way, more information is obtained about the health of the people who lived in these areas.
In Greek mythology, Charon or Kharon is a psychopomp, the ferryman of Hades, the Greek underworld and is the son of Erebus and Nyx. e carries the souls of those who have been given funeral rites across the rivers Acheron and Styx, which separate the worlds of the living and the dead.