HEADLESS GIANT BODIES FOUND IN PARIS GRAVES
They Date Back 1,400 Years — May Have Been Christian Martyrs, Soldiers or Criminals.
PARIS, Aug. 6. — The discovery in St. Germain-en-Laye yesterday of the remains of a Merovingian cemetery, dating back to the sixth century, has aroused the keen interest of French archaeologists. Particularly revealing to the experts is the fact that the six skeletons which were exhumed not only suggest a race of men of imposing size, but also bear witness to the strange methods of burial which were practiced in their time.
These skeletons ranged in size, including, the head mesurement, from 2 inches to 6 feet 7 inches. The cranium of the skeleton showed a thickness of 1 centimeter. In every case, however, burial had taken place following decapitation, the head being deposited on the chest of the man, his hands embracing it.
Some bodies were buried without shrouds. Others were enclosed in plaster coffins.
Whether the dead were Christian martyrs, Gallic or Roman Warriors, or were executed criminals is a question which the archaeologists are not yet able to answer.
In view of the fact that these remains were discovered near a street which up to fifty years ago bore the name “Le Chemin de Justice” (Road of Justice), there is a reason to believe that they mark the location of the burial ground for those who had been officially executed. The cemetery itself, however, is the grounds of an ancient convent of Feuillancourt and may have been the graveyard of the Church of Feuillancourt.
The absence of objects in the inscriptions in the tombs suggest the early Christian era. The presence of a pebble placed on each slab level with the chest of the dead also recalls Christian rites. In any case, the archeologists are willing to agree that these tombs date back to the sixteenth century.
- HEADLESS GIANT BODIES FOUND IN PARIS GRAVES, The New York Times, [Aug 7, 1925]