Corridor in the Cappuccino Catacombs, Rome, Italy
Ornamentation with skulls.
44652C U.S. Copyright Office.
Stereo copyrighted by Underwood & Underwood.
This record contains unverified, old data from caption card.
Caption card tracings: Skeletons & Skulls; Photog. Index; Death Catacombs; Italy Rome; Shelf.
Catacombs of Rome are ancient catacombs, underground burial places in and around Rome, of which there are at least forty, some rediscovered only in recent decades. Though most famous for Christian burials, either in separate catacombs or mixed together, Jews and also adherents of a variety of pagan Roman religions were buried in catacombs, beginning in the 2nd century AD, occasioned by the ancient Roman ban on burials within a city, and also as a response to overcrowding and shortage of land. The most extensive and perhaps the best known is the Christian Catacomb of Callixtus located near the Park of the Caffarella, but there are other sites, both Christian and not, scattered around the city, some of which are now engulfed by modern urban sprawl. The Christian catacombs are extremely important for the history of Early Christian art, as they contain the great majority of examples from before about 400 AD, in fresco and sculpture, as well as gold glass medallions (these, like most bodies, have been removed). The Jewish catacombs are similarly important for the study of Jewish culture at this early period.