Unidentified sarcophagus found after fire at Notre Dame Cathedral

In March 2022, during preparatory work to restore the church spire, workers found a well

preserved sarcophagus. It was located at a depth of 20 meters underground and lay among the brick pipes of the 19th century heating system.

According to preliminary estimates, the sarcophagus is dated 14century. Scientists have already looked into the find with the help of an endoscopic camera, and found out that inside the find there is a part of the skeleton, a pillow of leaves, fabric and as yet unidentified objects.

The sarcophagus was removed from the cathedral on April 12, 2022,said representatives of the French National Institute of Archaeological Research INRAP. It is now in safe custody before being sent to the Institute of Forensic Medicine in the southwestern city of Toulouse.

Forensic experts and scientists will then open the sarcophagus and examine its contents to determine the skeleton's gender and health status, lead archaeologist Christophe Besnier said.

If it turns out that this is actually a medieval sarcophagus, then we are dealing with an extremely rare burial practice.

Christophe Besnier, Leading Archaeologist

Scientists also hope to determine the social rank of the deceased. Considering the location and style of burial, the man appears to have belonged to the elite of his time.

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