Underground Paris - A Journey through Space & Time

Invitation to a Journey through Space and Time

I had my first chance to explore the re-opened Catacombs under Paris in December. We were lucky enough to visit when such a unique place, full of natural history as well as the macabre structures of human bones was eerily quiet as the minus temperatures above chilled the city air.

paris catacombs wall dates.JPG

"Between street level and the bottom of the Catacombs, the visitor is taken back nearly 45 million years in time. You go through a succession of increasingly ancient layers of rock until you reach a bed of limestone whih corresponds to a geological period called the "Lutetian" (between 48 and 40 million years ago)."

"The Quarryman's foot-bath"

"The Quarryman's foot-bath"

"This period was first identified in Paris called "Lutetian" after the ancient name for Paris, Lutetia. The official reference profile (GSSP) for Lutetian is located in the catacombs, at the water-well that bears the name Bain de pieds des carriers ("The Quarrymen's Foot-bath")."

paris catacombs shell picture.JPG

"The Lutetian doesn't actually account for very much time in the history of the Earth, which is 4,500 million years old. The dinosaurs disappeared 65 million years ago, while modern Man has only been developing for 200 000 years,"

giant shell catacombs paris.JPG
shell info catacombs paris.JPG
paris catacombs Lutetian period info.JPG
paris catacomb textures stripes.JPG
paris catacombs men.JPG
natural strata and man made supports above

natural strata and man made supports above

paris catacombs time chart.JPG
paris catacombs stone story.JPG
paris rock catacomb leaf imprint fossil.JPG
strata ceiling paris catacombs.JPG

You can read up on the Catacombs of Paris here and there will be a second more grisly post to follow...

paris catacomb rok wall.JPG
paris catacomb cave.JPG