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Iron Age children's necropolis discovered in northwestern France

During these past few weeks, Vincent Carpentier and his team from the National Institute of Archaeological Research, have been carrying out rescue excavations on a building site in Jort (a commune in the Calvados department in the Normandy region, northwestern France) following the discovery of a children's necropolis with some forty small pits whose skeletons have been preserved in perfect condition.

Iron Age children's necropolis discovered in northwestern France
A small child's grave with skeletons in excellent condition [Credit: © Les Nouvelles de Falaise]
According to Carpentier, three phases have been revealed on the site, the oldest of which dates back to Gallic times, between 450 and 25 BC. "This is truly exceptional", he says. "It is something quite rare for this region. Only one such necopolis has been found before, in the Channel at Urville-Nacqueville. There are even beads and small pieces of jewellery made of lignite for children near the bodies."

Iron Age children's necropolis discovered in northwestern France
Archaeologists at the excavation site [Credit: © Les Nouvelles de Falaise]
"The second phase belongs to the Roman period and has yielded ceramics, tableware, oyster shells and other finds. The third phase tells the story of the Middle Ages. Buildings with post holes are evidence of this. Darker areas reveal a hearth and the base of a wine press. It would correspond to a house dating from the time of Joan of Arc," Carpentier adds.

Source: ACTU [October 27, 2017]

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