Virginie Girod SEASON 2022 - 202305h00, June 02, 2023

This is an exceptional find. A Gallo-Roman necropolis of the second century was discovered in the 14th arrondissement of Paris, upstream of the work for the RER B. Since March 6, 2023, this group of burials not attached to a place of worship has been the subject of archaeological excavations. This Gallo-Roman necropolis would be the largest in the city of Lutetia, in the second century AD. To talk about it, Virginie Girod welcomes Camille Colonna, archaeologist, head of archaeological research and anthropologist at the National Institute for Preventive Archaeological Research (INRAP). "This small plot was not affected by the construction of the RER, nor by the constructions of Haussmann, so it is really a small miracle," says the archaeologist. In total, about fifty burials were found, accompanied by offerings, such as ceramics. If we know that the necropolis dates from the second BC, it is thanks to a piece found in the mouth of a skeleton, "the smuggler's room". The latter was used by the deceased to pay "Charon", the ferryman of the Underworld, so that their souls cross the river of hell. According to archaeologists, these burials were in coffins. However, they did not find any trace of wood: "But we found all the nails that were used to make the coffins, and that are still in place," explains Camille Colonna. These discoveries were made while the site had already been excavated at the time of Haussmann's urbanization work, in the nineteenth century: "They did not excavate at all like us. They picked up the beautiful objects, but did not look at the burial patterns. There wasn't all the anthropology and archaeology that we do now," adds the archaeologist.

Topics covered: Excavations - Archaeology - Antiquity - Necropolis - Burials

"At the heart of history" is a Europe 1 Studio podcast.

Writing and presentation: Virginie Girod

- Production: Europe 1 Studio

- Artistic direction: Adèle Humbert and Julien Tharaud

- Director: Clément Ibrahim

- Original music: Julien Tharaud

- Additional music: Julien Tharaud and Sébastien Guidis

- Communication: Kelly Decroix

- Visual: Sidonie Mangin

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