The site of Jeoffrécourt (urban district of Sissonne, département of the Aisne, France) was dug by François Martin and his team between 1985 and 2002. It yielded a set of nearly 500 burials, in association with a large number of domestic units, such as pit-dwellings, buildings on posts and silos, dating from the mid-6th century to the end of the 9th century. Among these, certain units, like the stone-lined pits, are noticeably rare in the context of the early Middle Ages. The objects recovered – metals, pottery, bones and stone - , both from the tombs and the domestic units, complete the picture of material culture for the whole period.

In addition, the expansion of the burial area seems to have been limited, to the NW, by the existence of an area showing no burials, but occupied by a group of buildings with an east-west aspect. This might be an ecclesiastical unit. The study of the site leads us indeed to examine the topic of the appearance of the “parish”, through the narrowing of the gap between the living and the dead and the emergence of specific buildings, connected with the management of the cemetery and of the living people linked to it. The site thus mirrors the legislation of the 8th and 9th centuries which established the practical details of the organization of the parish network and the care of the faithful by the Church.

Traduction : Margaret & Jean-Louis CADOUX.