(Loire Valley, France) I just learned that my home in France, which was built during the Renaissance period as part of the Abbey of Pontlevoy, happens to be located directly on top of a 7th century Merovingian graveyard. On my doorstep (literally) the French have uncovered 11 stone sarcophagi containing bones and relics from the Merovingian period (c.AD 500-AD 751). The discovery was made last week as the street in front of my house was being excavated to lay pipes for natural gas.
For those fans of the movie The Matrix, you might recall the character (i.e., computer program within the Matrix) named The Merovingian, also called The Frenchman. He was one of the few entities able to directly manipulate the code which creates the Matrix. His persona was of a French bon-vivant who took pleasure in vulgar banter and carnal pleasures.
The Merovingians are also extensively featured in one of my favorite books The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail, a book which was the inspiration for Dan Brown’s The DaVinci Code; you may recall the main character, Sophie, discovers that she is a descendant of the Merovingian blood line as well as Jesus Christ.