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An Ancient Roman Necropolis, Located Just A Few Feet Beneath St. Peter’s Basilica, Has Been Opened To The Public For Viewing By The Vatican, Featuring Carved Marble Sarcophagi And Tombs Filled With The Remains Of Ancient Romans

Giandomenico Spinola, an archaeologist and deputy artistic-scientific director of the Vatican museums, revealed that the department of the Vatican had been accused of trying to keep the discovery a secret in order to get the parking garage built by its projected deadline.

After journalists leaked news of the find, he and his colleagues were then consulted for advice on the next steps to take.

The tombs and their decorations, including marble-carved inscriptions, frescoes, and mosaic floors, were well-preserved due to a series of mudslides that occurred in the area. The Vatican necropolis is situated outside Rome’s urban center.

For safety and hygiene purposes, ancient Roman laws dictated that no cremations or burials were allowed within city limits.

As a result, funerary practices were reserved in the necropolis, which extends along Via Triumphalis, an ancient Roman road now known as the Via Trionfale.

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