Tomb of Henri Boudet

Tombstone of Henri BoudetTombstone of Jean Jacques Henri Boudet (Axat, Aude)

Henri Boudet is buried in the cemetery of the town of Axat. The top of his tombstone reads “F A M I L L E S A P R E L L A B A T B O U D E T”, indicating the tomb is a family grave containing multiple persons, although only Henri and his brother Edmond are mentioned by name in the inscriptions. The Notary Edmond Boudet was buried in this tomb in 1906, 9 years before Henri’s death. On the lower right hand portion of the tombstone is a raised, rectangular shaped slab, elevated from the base of the horizontal tombstone by 3 cm. The raised masonry is approximately 11 cm wide and 9 cm long and carries the inscription I.X.O.I.S.

Raised book on Boudet's tombstoneAt first glance the expression ‘IXOIS’ seems to defy language, combining Greek, Latin and English characters to form a nonsensical string of letters. When viewed upside down, the inscription turns into 3.I.0.X.I, perhaps being a reference to Boudet’s puzzling 1886 book; La vraie langue celtique et le cromleck de Rennes-les-Bains. The ‘310’ portion of the upside down view matches the number of pages in Boudet’s book: 310. The ‘XI’ portion is thought to reference Chapter 11 of Boudet’s book, which many believe to contain a treasure map. Collectively, these observations have led researchers to conclude that the little stone book conceals a secret.

In actual fact, it concerns a representation of the word ICHTUS meaning Fish and representing Jesus.

The individual letters of the expression hold the following meaning:

I – for Jesus in Greek
CH – for Christ in Greek
TH – for God in Greek
U – for son in Greek
S – for savior in Greek

IXOYΣ on the wall of the cathedral of SisteronThe Cathedrale de Notre Dame des Pommiers et St. Thyrse of Sisteron (Provence) contains the exact same word I.X.O.I.Σ. written, below a fish, proving it was not an uncommon way to refer to Christ.

Andrew Gough elaborates on this theory in his article here.

Location of Boudet’s Tomb in Axat

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Photos (c)2007 Andrew Gough

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