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Tomb of 2,000-year-old child found under airport in France

Archaeologists are working on excavating the grave at the edge of the airport runways in France Image: Disclosure / Inrap / Denis Gliksman

The “exceptional” tomb of a child, 2,000 years old, was discovered under the Clermont-Ferrand airport in central France – announced the National Institute for Preventive Archaeological Research (Inrap), this Thursday (14) .

At about a year old, the deceased was buried in the early first century in a small wooden coffin that was located “by the presence of several nails and an ornamental iron plate,” Inrap said in a statement.

Around the coffin were innumerable offerings: about twenty containers, butchery items that included half a pig, three hams and two beheaded chickens, miniature vases and glass containers that probably contained cosmetics, or medicines.

This burial is “unusual in view of the abundance of vessels and offerings”.

In this type of tomb, one or two vessels are often placed at the foot.

“There are about 20 here, as well as abundant food deposits,” Laurence Lautier, responsible for the excavations, told AFP.

This “reflects a certain social status, a family that is certainly very wealthy,” he added.

Archaeologists have also unearthed an iron ring and a metal rod, a set “that existed at the time, but had not been discovered in a tomb until now,” he added.

Next to the boy, a dog skeleton was also found. This association was common at the time, but the discovery of the animal’s collar and bell “is very new”, explains Inrap.

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