Catacombs of Rome - the ancient burial underground

Catacombs of Rome - the ancient burial underground
 Catacombs of Rome - a network of underground corridors and passages with grooves, which in ancient times were used as burial places. The name "Catacombs" is derived from the Greek word katakymbos, meaning "depression." This system of corridors formed intricate mazes with many different forms of burial niches.
 The history of the Roman catacombs has its roots in pre-Christian era. For the first time to bury the dead in carved cave near Rome became Jews. The most ancient tombs date back to I in. BC No precise data about what was their original purpose. It is assumed that the catacombs were abandoned quarry, but researchers say that for the extraction of tufa putting too inconvenient. Free extraction of stone would prevent low arches and narrow corridors.

Later, the catacombs were used for the burial of the first Christians. Most of them were martyrs for the faith. The dead were buried in special niches and then read over the body of prayer services were held. Presumably, from there went to the funeral liturgy. All funeral premises interconnected long galleries. Over time, the catacombs were not just the graves of individuals and entire family vault. Up to the V century they were rebuilt and expanded, interconnected with numerous branches, forming a branched necropolis.

Since the end of V-th - beginning of the VI-th century catacombs cemetery lost its purpose and acquired the status of a sacred place where pilgrims annually sent from around the world to venerate the relics of martyrs, some of which at the time were canonized. But after the transfer of the remains to the burial places of interest in the churches catacombs significantly waned. By the VII century underground Roman necropolis was abandoned and forgotten.

About remembered him after almost a thousand years, in the XVI century on the overlap of the catacombs stumbled workers. Attempts to describe the ancient tombs were made in 1598, but only in the XIX century began their detailed study. In addition to the inventory of the remaining lessons burials not been extensively studied paintings, drawings, sketches of biblical themes. Archaeologists have discovered new, previously unknown areas galleries.

This colossal work made it possible for scientists and theologians to get an idea about the art of the early Christians, burial rites, clothing, and some of the attributes inherited by the new faith from paganism. In particular, in the crypts are various vessels, jewelery and coins. It has been found that different shapes have been dumping. Most of them were in the form of conventional rectangular niches. Some were in the form arkosolii - vaulted arches, under which the dead were buried. Kubikuly were paired niches that are located one above the other on both sides of the corridor. And the rarest were burial in sarcophagi - the most expensive option of burial.

 Currently open for tours only part of the existing catacombs. Guided tour groups descend into the ancient dungeon, listening to stories about the culture and history of the ancient necropolis.

Tags: First, the land, the Roman burial, catacombs, Christians, ancient necropolis