2,000 years ago, a baby was discovered interred with a pet.

Archaeologists in France have unearthed the skeletal remains of a one-year-old neonate who was interred alongside a dog in a wooden coffin with 80-centimeter-long nails.

The burial is considered to have occurred at the beginning of the first century. The infant’s burial artifacts indicate that he belonged to a prominent family.

 

An overhead view of the burial site in what is now Clermont-Ferrand

He conducted archaeological investigation and rescue excavations at the Clermont-Ferrand Auvergne Airport in France in preparation for a construction project. In the ongoing construction, 7,4 acres of land have been excavated since November of last year.

During Roman-era excavations within the borders of Gaul, a child’s tomb containing exceptionally compelling artifacts was discovered.

The infant, believed to be about one year old, was discovered interred in an 80 cm long timber coffin constructed with nails and adorned with a gorgeous iron tag in the early first century of Roman rule. The coffin was placed in a 2-by-1-meter tomb along with approximately 20 objects, including a series of earthenware vases and glass vials believed to contain oil and medication, half a pig, three ham and other pork portions, and two headless chickens.

The Guardian.com reports that French archaeologists have unearthed the remains of a two-thousand-year-old neonate who was interred with his pet.

 

Archaeologists at the grave

In addition, archaeologists uncovered a stunning copper pin used to secure a shroud, as well as a 30cm iron ring connected to a twisted metal shaft believed to be a toy. The end of the pole was inserted between the legs of a dog that was set at the feet of the deceased outside the casket. The young animal’s harness featured copper ornaments and a small chime.

Additionally, the excavations unearthed a milk tooth set on a shattered shell fragment, possibly belonging to the infant’s older sibling.

In Roman Gaul, which today comprises portions of France, Belgium, and neighboring nations, adults were frequently cremated, while children were frequently interred on family land, indicating that a large villa was constructed nearby.

According to the National Institute for Preventive Archaeology Research (INRAP), the quantity and quality of the artefacts discovered with the remains of a deceased individual were “exceptional.” “Such an abundance of dinnerware and broken antiques, as well as the boy’s personal possessions, indicate that his family is affluent. The connection between a dog and a small child in the context of a funeral is frequently documented, but the collar and bell are out of the ordinary in this case.

A wider view of the excavation site

 

It is the earliest and most significant child’s monument discovered in France, according to reports. A variety of weapons discovered in a mausoleum believed to be associated with the Roman invasion of Gaul a few decades ago indicate that the invader was a soldier.

The excavation director at Clermont-Ferrand, Laurence Lautier, characterized the discovery as “unique due to the profusion of vases and votives.” In this type of tomb, one or two containers are typically placed at the foot. There are approximately twenty dining options available.

He told AFP that the number of relics in the tomb indicated “a certain social level… definitely a wealthy family” and that the vases and flower containers contained “the food and drink portion of the child’s burial banquet.”

The 3,5-hectare (7.4-acre) excavation has uncovered artifacts from the iron age, antiquity, and the middle ages, as well as more recent antiquities.

The tomb’s discovered containers are being examined to determine their contents. The excavations are expected to continue through February.

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