Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Archaeologists follow the evolution of a French town

Between the 3rd and the 5th centuries AD, a vast necropolis was established on the site. With more than 400 graves, it has now been partially excavated. The deceased were placed in coffins of which archaeologists have occasionally found traces of wood and nails.

Brought to light in 2007, seven stone sarcophagi, aligned on a north-south axis, marked the limit of the necropolis. An eighth sarcophagus is at present being excavated.

During the Merovingian era (6-8 centuries AD), funeral practices evolved and the necropolis moved towards the south-west. Early in the 7th century, one of the most ancient textual sources, the Testament of Ermentrude, relates the presence of a church in Bondy, around which the cemetery was created. Previous excavations revealed the presence of plaster sarcophagi, sometimes decorated. The deceased were found to be dressed, and adorned with belt plates and pins to fasten the clothes.

More at Past Horizons


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