February 21, 2024

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Archaeologists discover a treasure trove of tombs and statues under the burning Notre Dame: this is unusual

Archaeologists discover a treasure trove of tombs and statues under the burning Notre Dame: this is unusual

French experts speak of an “extraordinary and emotional” discovery. In April 2019, the famous cathedral on Ile de la Cité, central Paris, was partially destroyed. President Macron has promised to rebuild 850-year-old Notre Dame within five years.

Previously It is already well known Archaeologists have found undiscovered treasures during the restoration. Yesterday it was announced what they discovered. These include tombs, statues, carvings, a lead sarcophagus, and parts of the original screen from the 13th century.

The wooden parapet is a decorative partition between the choir and the nave, which separates the clergy from the churchgoers. So far, only a few parts of the original screen have been preserved. Some are in the Notre Dame storage room, others can be seen in the Louvre. It now appears that the rest of the wooden parapet is carefully buried under the cathedral floor.

One of the most remarkable pieces of the wooden parapet is an intact stone-carved head, believed to have belonged to Jesus.

Hundreds of exclusive pieces

The discovery was unexpected, according to Christophe Besnier, who led the archaeological team. We discovered all these riches only 10 to 15 cm deep under the floorboards. Suddenly we have in our possession hundreds of exceptional pieces, which contain a wealth of information on the history of Notre Dame.”

The team had quite a bit of time to uncover all these treasures. It was in operation from February to April, before installing 100-foot (30 m) 600-ton scaffolding to rebuild the cathedral’s spire. The pressure of time has also forced archaeologists to limit themselves to one specific area below the cathedral.

Portions of Rod’s screen have also been identified outside of that area. “We know they are there and they will not be harmed,” Bisnier said. “Hopefully we can reveal it again at a later time.”

Notre Dame was partially destroyed by fire on April 15, 2019.AFP photo


Archaeologists also recovered a lead sarcophagus. Experts believe it may contain the body of a high-ranking church official, possibly from the 14th century. Using the camera, the researchers discovered plant remains under the deceased’s head, hair and traces of various substances, but there was no identification card identifying the deceased.

Additional research, including DNA analysis, should provide more clarity. After that, the body can be reburied somewhere in the cathedral.”

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