Column: Etchings from a Century Ago

Between today and Wednesday, my genealogy column, Roots to the Past, is available in the following Atlantic Canada newspapers:

Saturday: The Citizen (Amherst)

Saturday: Times & Transcript (Moncton)

Wednesday: The Lunenburg County Progress Bulletin (Lunenburg County)

TitleColumn: Etchings from a Century Ago

Snippet: More than 1,800 years ago, Romans began mining chalk from the limestone cliffs of Picard Plateau located beneath Naours, a town in the north of what is now known as France. The fine powder was used as a building material, as well as a skin-whitener for women. Faces of pure, white skin were considered beautiful in those days.

The Romans’ digging produced tunnels and large open areas. After they abandoned the mines, the locals continued the excavating activities. The years of digging produced an underground city consisting of three kilometres of roads, 300 rooms, a piazza, three chapels, cowsheds, six chimneys and a bakery with ovens. It could accommodate 3,000 people and their livestock.

The network of tunnels became a safe haven for locals during many conflicts and invasions, including the Crusades, Hundred Years’ War, Burgundian Wars, French Wars of Religion and the Thirty Year’s War.

. . . To read more, pick up one of the above noted newspapers.

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