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Burials Found in Vatican City

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Some interesting new finds at the Santa Rosa Necropolis (also called the Necropolis of the Via Triumphalis). This site was only discovered around 2003 during excavations for a parking lot at the Vatican.  Although this site has been investigated since then, there continue to be new discoveries. Interestingly, this place included burials for many servants and slaves. The necropolis has been described as a communal or shared cemetery. Excavations have, therefore, shed life on some of the Roman non-elites, including potentially some early Christians.


 People from the poor and middle classes of the Roman society who could not afford to build a tomb for themselves, put their budgets together for this cemetery. In the niches you can see several urns, revealing the use of cremation. From the decoration archaeologists discovered that the people buried in this cemetery were not all from Rome. Some of them were artisans and slaves probably coming from Egypt, as the red snakes paintings found on one of the walls suggest.



Below is a beautiful marble funerary shrine found during earlier excavations this century. It is of the child Tiberius Natronius Venustus,. He was little more than four years old.

Marble funerary shrine with the four-year old child Tiberius Natronius Venustus.  (photo credit: VATICAN MUSEUM)


necropolis-via-triumphalis-vatican-tour.jpgNecropolis of the Via Triumphalis

Wonderful article by Ancient Origins on the new discoveries and insights from the site:



This was the original article in The Jerusalem Post that requires accepting cookies to read.




(Thank you Ancient Origins for finding the first video:)

Edited by guy

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