Two ancient burials under Notre Dame Cathedral: scientists have found out whose graves they are (photo)
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Scientists led by Eric Krubesi of the University of Toulouse conducted a thorough study of the remains of men to find out their age at the time of death and to obtain data on their possible diseases. It turned out that the priest buried here was Antoine de la Porte, a fairly wealthy man who was one of the members of the clergy who managed the Cathedral.
Scientists have found a tablet with the date of his death, which said that this priest died at the age of 83 on December 24, 1710. Due to the fact that de la Porte played an important role in the life of the Cathedral, he was buried in a place that was just intended for the burial of the elite.
According to scientists, the remains of the priest are well preserved, in particular, this concerns bones, teeth, as well as beard. The scientists also found the remains of a fabric, possibly the clothes of a priest.
The study showed that most likely this clergyman led a sedentary lifestyle. At the same time, scientists found signs of gout, a type of arthritis, on the toes. Since gout can be caused by excessive consumption of alcohol and food, it is sometimes called the “disease of kings”.
According to scientists, the identity of the second person buried here, a young noble man, has not yet been established. So far, it is known that he was between 20 and 40 years old at the time of his death and had a very difficult life.
According to Krubezi, the study showed that this man had ridden a horse since childhood, and also lost most of his teeth in the years or months before his death. An examination of the bones showed that chronic meningitis, which appeared as a result of tuberculosis, was a possible cause of death of this person.
But most of all, scientists were struck by the way the nobleman, who has so far received the nickname “Horseman”, was buried. Part of his skull was cut off and his chest opened for embalming. Also around the skull and on the stomach, scientists found the remains of leaves and flowers. According to Kroubezi, this practice of burial was common among the nobles of France starting in the mid-16th century.
So far, scientists' estimates regarding the time of the death of a nobleman range from the 14th to the 17th century. And his identification depends on when he died. If this man died between the second half of the 16th century and the 17th century, then a record of his death can be found in the surviving documents. If he died earlier, then, according to scientists, he literally took the secret of who the “Horseman” was with him to the grave.
Now scientists want to find out where these men could be born, also what they ate, and what other possible illnesses they had that could cause death. The researchers want to complete the study of the remains and announce the final results of the study as early as the beginning or middle of next year.
Focus has already written that archaeologists have found a burial with hundreds of bodies, a third of which – nurseries under a supermarket in the UK.