Camille Colonna, an anthropologist at France’s National Institute of Preventive Archaeological Research (INRAP), announced at a press conference that an ancient necropolis from 2,000 years ago has been unearthed next to a Paris train station.
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Just metres from a busy train station in the heart of Paris, scientists have uncovered 50 graves in an ancient necropolis which offer a rare glimpse of life in the French capital’s precursor Lutetia nearly 2,000 years ago.
Somehow the buried necropolis was never stumbled upon during multiple road works over the years, as well as the construction of the Port-Royal station on the historic Left Bank in the 1970s.
However, plans for a new exit for the train station prompted an archaeological excavation.
Camille Colonna, an anthropologist at France’s National Institute of Preventive Archaeological Research (INRAP), told a press conference that there were already “strong suspicions” the site was close to Lutetia’s southern necropolis.
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The “Saint Jacques” necropolis, the largest burial site in the Gallo–Roman town of Lutetia, was previously partially excavated in the 1800s.
However, only objects considered precious were taken from the graves, with the many skeletons, burial offerings and other artifacts abandoned.
The necropolis was then covered over and again lost to time.
The INRAP team discovered one section that had never before been excavated.
“No one has seen it since antiquity,” said INRAP president Dominique Garcia.
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