Sunday, April 20, 2008

My Town Monday / Old Stones

Someone mentioned old stones last week. All stones are old, I suppose, if you think about it. But the ones in my village seem to be particularly steeped in history. So I went to the church yesterday and took some photos.
The stones you see date from around 1013. It's limestone, carved from the quarries near the Seine, which in turn are the result of layer upon layer of ancient shellfish and sea-creatures which lived in the Parisian Basin in the The Lutetian Era, which is a stage of the Eocene Epoch. It spanned the time between 48.6 ± 0.2 Ma and 40.4 ± 0.2 Ma (million years ago). The Lutetian Epoch was named after Lutetia, Latin for Paris. There are fossilized shells in the stone, and I sometimes wonder what the stone cutters thought of that, as they cut and carved.

Looking out from the courtyard toward the village square.
A stone bird carved in a corner of the church outside. Extensive rebuilding has changed the church. This bird was probably decorating the top of a column, like the one below...

You can see the traces of grapes and vine in this carving, if you look closely enough. There were vineyards all over this region in the Middle Ages.

The arched doorway. It's an unusual combination of traingular shapes and rounds, with flowers in the middle of the rounds.

11 comments:

Bernita said...

Lovely shots.
I wuvs stone work.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Is there anything prettier than a stone arch?

Gabriele C. said...

Very pretty.

There's so much history in those old buildings.

Charles Gramlich said...

It's always fascinating to see fossils in worked stone. It really gives a feeling of the continuity of life.

Travis Erwin said...

Very cool. I'm awed by the depth of history in all of Europe.

Barrie said...

1013! Holy cow!

heather said...

cool! thanks for the history, too.

Clair Dickson said...

So cool. Most everything around here is young. (Not counting a few natural landmarks.) Not fair. ;-)

The Anti-Wife said...

These are beautiful. thanks for posting them.

yaddayaddayaddablahblahblah said...

I love your photos! Thank you :)

WordVixen said...

I'm with Clair- "Not fair!". :) But I'm glad you're posting the pix- most of us will never get to see this up close.