An archaeological discovery astounding has been made in the department of Lot. Opened Tuesday, the sarcophagus, “a simple bowl of limestone, covered with a lid to pitched roof with four sides” and “sealed by a sealing mortar was buried near the courtyard in the process of redevelopment”, according to the press release from the Department. The tomb has been opened with the assistance of the INDRA (the national Institute for preventive archaeological research), as well as three anthropologists who came to work on it to identify it.

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A exceptional discovery

“The sarcophagus was sealed with a strip of mortar, which ensured the watertightness of the burial and the conservation of the remains”.

Jean-Luc Boudartchouk

“The skeleton dating back to the Seventh century belongs “to an individual female with advanced age, reflecting problems of osteoarthritis” and “buried without personal effects”, according to Laurent Guyard, head of the unit county archaeological of the Lot. The Merovingian was based near St. Bartholomew church, “situated at the most likely location of a monastery founded by Didier of Cahors”.

burials in sarcophagus were very rare at the time. They are usually boxes of wood or tile. “Here, for the first time, the sarcophagus was sealed with a strip of mortar, which ensured the watertightness of the burial and the conservation of the remains,” says Jean-Luc Boudartchouk, deputy director, INRAP Midi-Pyrenees. A conservation that will investigate on the conditions of death but also of life at that time.

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The location of the discovery, which was a place of passage at the time, suggests a certain level of lying, according to the Department. The preventive excavations on the site started on 22 July 2019, have also enabled us to collect a lot of vestiges of the merovingian (pottery…)” and to find “what seems to be traces of an ancient kitchen.” The sarcophagus needs to reach the collections of the musée Henri-Martin in Cahors, after a battery of studies conducted by the INRAP.

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