The 2000 year old necropolis in Paris

It is just a few meters from a train station in the center of Paris. A total of 50 tombs have been discovered. What is it about? The 2000-year-old necropolis in Paris. The ancient necropolis offers an extraordinary insight into life in Lutetia. This was a precursor settlement to the French capital.

The 2000-year-old necropolis in Paris had a corpse with a coin in its mouth.
The 2000-year-old necropolis in Paris had a corpse with a coin in its mouth.

Previous suspicions

Somehow, the buried necropolis was never found during the numerous works carried out in the area. However, very close by, the construction of the Port-Royal railroad station took place. It happened in the 1970s. Now, plans had been developed for a new exit from the train station. And these resulted in an archaeological excavation, writes France 24.

Anthropologist Camille Colonna works at the National Institute for Preventive Archaeological Research. On the subject, she declared at a press conference that there were already “strong suspicions” of this. It was believed that the site was near the necropolis of southern Lutetia. The necropolis of Saint Jacques is the largest burial site in the Gallo-Roman city of Lutetia. It was partially excavated in the 19th century.

Surprisingly, it was never discovered in previous excavations.
Surprisingly, he was never discovered in previous excavations.


Colonna stated that the researchers were “very happy”. There they found a skeleton with a coin in its mouth. This allowed them to date the burial to the 2nd century AD. During the excavation, which began in March, 50 tombs have already been discovered.

Sometimes a coin was placed in the coffin, or even in the mouth of the deceased. It was a common practice at the time called the mite of Charon. In Greek mythology, Charon was the ferryman of Hades. The coin was considered a bribe to transport the souls of the dead across the river Styx. Archaeologists have also found shoes inside the tombs. They were able to identify them by the small nails that would have been in the soles. But the 2000-year-old necropolis in Paris still has a lot to tell us.

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