Notre Dame de Paris: An important archaeological discovery before the Reconstruction

Many 14th century burials have been discovered.


Study time: 2 minutes

BThe French Ministry of Health announced on Monday that a number of tombs, including a 14th-century lead sarcophagus, had been unearthed during archaeological excavations prior to reconstruction work on the tower of the Notre Dame de Paris Cathedral.



According to the ministry, the remains are of “significant scientific quality”.

They were discovered while crossing the crosswalk of the cathedral, partially destroyed by the April 2019 fire.

In the tombs, “an anthropological lead sarcophagus, fully preserved and discovered”. According to the same source, it was “a high-ranking official, probably belonging to the 14th century”.

Immediately below the current pavement level of the cathedral, “the presence of a pit buried with polychrome carved elements was identified as belonging to the former wooden screen of Notre-Dame. [tribune formant une clôture de pierre ou de bois et séparant le chœur liturgique de la nef, NDLR]Built in 1230 and demolished in the early 18th century.

During his work, in the mid-19th century, Spire’s designer Violet-Le-Duck discovered other fragments of this root screen, now on display in the Louvre Museum.


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