During an excavation underneath the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris, France, archeologists discovered an ancient lead sarcophagus that could potentially date back to the 14th century, according to Reuters.

About the remains: The sarcophagus probably belonged to someone important, archeologists said.

  • Due to the preservation of the artifact, it is expected the remains could belong to a senior dignitary, reported NPR.
  • France’s Archaeological Institute reported to Reuters that it sent a camera inside of the sarcophagus.
  • “We were able to send a small camera inside which showed cloth remains, organic matter such as hair and plant remains,” said Cristophe Besnier, from the archaeological institute.
  • “The fact that these plants are still there indicates that the contents have been very well preserved,” continued Besnier.

Notre Dame fire: On April 15, 2019, Notre Dame was engulfed in flames. The roof and spire of the historic 858-year-old cathedral were seriously damaged due to the flames, according to the Connexion.

  • The Connexion later reported that the cause of the fire was likely attributed to six electronic bells that short-circuited.

Rebuilding Notre Dame: Following the fire, numerous donors around the world came together in efforts to restore the historic cathedral.

Ancient tombs discovered under Notre Dame: During the process of preparatory work for rebuilding the church’s spire, archeologists discovered several, well-preserved burial tombs, according to France 24.

  • This was the site where the sarcophagus was found.

History of Notre Dame: The Notre Dame Cathedral was built in Paris, France.

  • Construction of the church began under the reign of King Louis VII in 1163, and was finished in 1345, according to The New York Times.
  • The cathedral is where Henry VI was made king of France in 1431, and where Napoleon Bonaparte was made emperor in 1804, The New York Times reported.