The Earth's crust is a book filled with the pages of time, but the archeology of the city is not so well documented. New roads are built over ancient pathways and tall buildings grow from the walls of long abandoned dwellings, but sometimes these layers of the past pop back up to the surface through happy accident.
In the Rue de l'Orillon, renovations to a building have slowly revealed the wooden shopfront of an ancient wine trader; "Au Bon Coin: Commerce de Vins". In these Belleville backstreets, once known as the Basse Courtille, such establishments were once very common. Paris historian Jacques Hillairet wrote the following about the street in his Dictionnaire historique des rues de Paris:
“Emplacement du cabaret de Jean Ramponeaux, à l’enseigne du Tambour-Royal. Jean Ramponeaux vendait son vin un sou moins cher la pinte que ses confrères de la barrière, ce qui lui attira une telle affluence qu’il y avait autant de clients dehors que dedans".
(Position of Jean Ramponeaux's caberet called the Tambour-Royal. Jean Ramponeaux sold his wine one sou cheaper than his rivals at the city gateway which attracted such a crowd that there were as many people inside as outside).
As more recent layers of materials are scraped away, a previous aspect of the city reappears. Another fresh layer will probably soon be placed on top and new stories will be written, but let's hope that this physical trace of the past does not disappear forever .