In France the team of the National Institute for preventive archaeological research (Inrap) in carrying out excavations in the ancient necropolis of the city of Autun has discovered a previously unknown burials, one of which was a mysterious lead sarcophagus.
the discovery is reported on the website Inrap. On the site of the present town of Autun, which is located in the South-West of Dijon, in ancient times was situated the Roman town of Augustinum. Here is the early Christian Church of St-Pierre, considered one of the most ancient in France.
Next to her previously was found a necropolis, which was used extensively from the mid-III century to V century. However, some burials dated even XVIII century. We found only about 150 graves.
one of them was found a double sarcophagus. The outer coffin is carved in stone, and inside it was placed a lead coffin. The age of the burial is about 1500 years. A preliminary survey has shown that lead is air-tight sarcophagus.
He remained sealed and untouched for centuries. The researchers plan to open it. They believe that the inside can be well-preserved ritual objects and clothing of the deceased person. Perhaps their analysis will allow to establish his identity.
for Example, legend has it that the grounds of this cemetery were buried the Amateur, which is sometimes called the first Bishop of Autun. By the way, the first mausoleum was built on a Gallo-Roman Villa. Probably, it was buried a highly respected citizen.
researchers believe that the excavated necropolis is the burial place of many of the first Christians, appeared in the Northern part of Gaul. Mention of them belong to the IV century. This is the period of time during which the necropolis was used most actively.
the Ancient lead coffins rare in this part of France. In total there are about 40 of these coffins, and at Autun was found eight of them. The dead were buried here, as a rule, coffins of wood and Sandstone. Archaeologists also found traces of six mausoleums and wooden buildings.
Some burials are signs characteristic of the traditions of the Roman Empire. But in the later sarcophagi there are some patterns reminiscent of the image of the cross.
in 1839 in the cemetery Saint-Pierre was discovered an ancient epitaph. To date it has been difficult. But the language and style of the characters indicate that it was carved between the end of II century and the second half of IV century.
the text, written in Greek, one Pectoris convincing that his fellow Christians keep a pure heart. These five lines form acrostically symbol for Jesus Christ. This is one of the first mentions of Christ in the Gallic archaeological��AI.