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Archaeology & History

Two mystery coffins found under Notre Dame have now been opened

By T.K. Randall
December 18, 2022 · Comment icon 6 comments

Notre Dame photographed before the fire. Image Credit: PD - Tom S
Researchers have (quite literally) lifted the lid on who was buried in the coffins beneath the iconic cathedral's spire.
When the news broke that the iconic Parisian cathedral had become shrouded in flames back in 2019, countries around the world united in expressing their sadness and dismay.

While the fearless efforts of firefighters ultimately managed to save the building from being totally destroyed, it will take years to fully restore the cathedral to its former glory.

There is at least one upside to the disaster, however - the discovery of previously unseen relics hidden deep within the structure.

Earlier this year, excavations being carried out at the site yielded the unexpected discovery of two lead sarcophagi that nobody had even known were there.

Fast-forward to the present day and now researchers have finally opened up the two coffins - which date back several centuries - to find out who they belonged to.
The occupants, it turns out, were both wealthy men.

The first, who was identified from a plate on the coffin itself, was Antoine de la Porte - an 83-year-old member of the clergy responsible for the cathedral who died on December 24th, 1710.

The other man, meanwhile, continues to remain a bit of an enigma because there was no accompanying plate on his coffin.

An examination of his remains suggested that he was between 25 and 40 when he died and that he had lost all his teeth in the years prior to his death, indicating that he likely succumbed to tuberculosis.

Exactly who he was and why he was buried under Notre Dame, however, continues to remain a mystery.

Source: Live Science | Comments (6)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Jon the frog 2 years ago
Lead coffin, nice !
Comment icon #2 Posted by nevins 2 years ago
Finally Jimmy Hoffa has been found.
Comment icon #3 Posted by Eldorado 2 years ago
A mysterious leaden sarcophagus discovered in the bowels of Paris' Notre-Dame cathedral after it was devastated by a fire will soon be opened and its secrets revealed, French archaeologists said Thursday. The announcement came just a day before the third anniversary of the inferno that engulfed the 12th century Gothic landmark, which shocked the world and led to a massive reconstruction project.
Comment icon #4 Posted by jethrofloyd 2 years ago
It's maybe Mr. Nostradamus himself? He predicted that his coffin would be reopened in April 2022.
Comment icon #5 Posted by Jaded1 2 years ago
It can only be...
Comment icon #6 Posted by Still Waters 12 months ago
Notre Dame’s uncovered tombs start to reveal their secrets Two lead sarcophaguses discovered buried under the nave at Notre Dame Cathedral in what was described as an “extraordinary and emotional” find have begun giving up their secrets, French scientists announced on Friday. The first contains the remains of a high priest who died in 1710 after what experts say appeared to be a sedentary life. The occupant of the second has not yet been identified – and may never be – but is believed to be a young, wealthy and privileged noble who could have lived as far back as the 14th century. ... [More]

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