Skeletons and Roman houses discovered in northeastern France

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Since April, scientists from INRAP (Institut National de la Recherche archaeologique preventive) have been carrying out rescue excavations on a plot of land ahead of a housing development in the municipality of Argancy (Moselle), 15 kilometres north of Metz, near Amneville.

Skeletons and Roman houses discovered in northeastern France
A skeleton from the Carolingian period (8th-10th centuries) on the archaeological site of Argancy
[Credit: © Radio France/Romeo Van Mastrigt]



Several remains have been discovered, the oldest of which date back to around 800 BC, between the end of the Bronze Age and the Roman period. Among the finds are two Gallo-Roman buildings, a well-preserved Gallo-Roman bread oven used to bake bread and food, and part of a Carolingian farmhouse.

Skeletons and Roman houses discovered in northeastern France
The skeleton of a child found at the archaeological site of Argancy (Moselle) whose skull was crushed
[Credit: © Radio France/Romeo Van Mastrigt]



“There are remains from different periods here,” says site manager Magali Mondy, smiling. “About twenty funerary urns from the protohistoric period (between the Bronze and Iron Ages) have been found. These have already sent to the laboratory for analysis.”

Skeletons and Roman houses discovered in northeastern France
The bones of a small colt from the Carolingian period (8th-10th century)
[Credit: © Radio France/Romeo Van Mastrigt]



In some parts of the site, the periods overlap. The protohistoric burial sites and the Carolingian house are located in the same place. Century after century, people have occupied this space,” says the site manager.

Skeletons and Roman houses discovered in northeastern France
INRAP researchers excavate a bread oven in a Gallo-Roman villa
[Credit: © Radio France/Romeo Van Mastrigt]

“We also found two skeletons, one of a child and one of a teenager, probably dating from the Carolingian period. The adolescent has his lower limbs curled up on his chest, his legs slightly bent to the side. The bones are in an impressive state of preservation”, explains Arnaud Lefebvre, an anthropologist at the Institut de recherches archaeologiques preventives (Inrap) in Metz.

Skeletons and Roman houses discovered in northeastern France
The bread oven from the Gallo-Roman period (1st-3rd century)
[Credit: © Radio France/Romeo Van Mastrigt]

“It would be a teenager from the Carolingian era, between the 8th and 10th centuries, probably 15 or 17 years old. His unusual position may show some disability. Laboratory analysis will determine this. At his side, the skeleton of a child and a young adult were also discovered. Only a DNA test would tell us if they are from the same family,” says the specialist.

Source: France Bleu [June 23, 2019]

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