18th century priest found buried under Notre Dame Cathedral

(ORDO NEWS) — Archaeologists have identified one of the people buried under the nave of Notre Dame Cathedral. Two lead sarcophagi with bodies were discovered several months ago during excavations.

Scientists immediately established that the burials belonged to noble persons. This was indicated both by expensive sarcophagi and by the burial place itself.

Both sarcophagi were sent to the forensic institute in Toulouse. As inspection showed, they were pierced in several places and suffered greatly from time to time, so the contents were poorly preserved.

However, experts identified one of the buried by deciphering the inscription on the sarcophagus. It turned out that the body belonged to Canon Antoine de la Porte, who died on December 24, 1710 at the age of 83.

The prelate played an important role in the interior design of the cathedral in the 17th and 18th centuries, and his life is fairly well documented.

The second deceased, as studies have shown, was from 20 to 40 years old. He lived much earlier than the canon, around the 14th century.

Together with the body, the remains of a shroud and plants were found inside the sarcophagus. Probably, a wreath of leaves and flowers was placed in the sarcophagus.

The skull of the deceased was cut open. The experts came to the conclusion that these are traces of embalming. The condition of the bones also showed that he rode a horse from a very young age.

Scientists also drew attention to the unusual design of the sarcophagus. It was not rectangular, but repeated the shape of the human body. Previously, archaeologists have never come across such items.

The scientists stressed that they intend to continue research. Modern technologies make it possible to establish the geographical origin of people who lived centuries ago, the characteristics of their diet and the cause of death.

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