Skip to comments.ANCIENT NECROPOLIS FOUND BENEATH VATICAN
Posted on 10/09/2006 9:03:15 AM PDT by NYer
The history of this dig may be found here.
AP - Mon Oct 9, 10:40 AM ET
In this undated photo provided Monday, Oct. 9, 2006 by the Vatican Museums, a general view of an ancient necropolis unearthed at the Vatican is seen. Vatican Museums officials and archaeologists on Monday unveiled the necropolis, which was unearthed three years ago during the construction of a parking lot for Vatican City employees and vehicles. Visitors to the Vatican will soon be able to step into the newly unveiled necropolis likened by archaeologists to a ''little Pompeii'' of cemeteries which were the final resting place of the rich and not-so-affluent inhabitants during centuries of Roman imperial Rule.
AP - Mon Oct 9, 10:41 AM ET
In this undated photo provided Monday, Oct. 9, 2006 by the Vatican Museums, a detail of an engraving in an ancient necropolis unearthed at the Vatican. Vatican Museums officials and archaeologists on Monday unveiled the necropolis, which was unearthed three years ago during the construction of a parking lot for Vatican City employees and vehicles. Visitors to the Vatican will soon be able to step into the newly unveiled necropolis likened by archaeologists to a ''little Pompeii'' of cemeteries which were the final resting place of the rich and not-so-affluent inhabitants during centuries of Roman imperial Rule.
Reuters - Mon Oct 9, 8:19 AM ET
A sarcophagus adorned with a woman and victory wings lies at the site of a Roman necropolis in the Vatican in a photograph released October 9, 2006.
Reuters - Mon Oct 9, 8:17 AM ET
Figures which adorned the tomb of a baby lie at the site of a Roman necropolis in the Vatican in a photograph released October 9, 2006.
Check this out...
This is where the ostensible bones of St. Peter were found and the candidate for the "troparion" or trophy of Gaius. Constantine had gone through a massive amount of effort to put the basilica on top of the Vatican hill, and to align its main altar directly over a grave in the Roman necropolis.
Thanks so much NYer.
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I thought everyone knew the Vatican was built over an ancient Roman Cemetery, where Peter was buried after he was crucified head down.
Great post and photos!
You're right. This is not the best title. The original news story (linked above) is to Bloomberg which is a blocked source. They entitled their news story: Vatican Necropolis Gives Up Secrets After Escaping Construction
I searched other news sources but the best I could find were the photographs released by the Vatican which are posted above. CNN and USA Today are now catching up. BTW - those terracotta pipes projecting from the ground, are funnels where visitors would pour honey and other foods down to the deceased.
Here's one more photo.
In this undated photo provided Monday, Oct. 9, 2006 by the Vatican Museums, a mosaic floor is seen in an ancient necropolis unearthed at the Vatican.
The bloomberg headline reads like a bad babblefish translation of pravda.
I rather think that Peter was a myth.
Romans died long before the Xians came. They took many of their burial practices from the Etruscans, who had very elaborate burial chambers that can still be viewed today.
The Romans also took from the Etruscans their eating practices (lying down on couches). I always thought of the last supper as the disciples lying 4 and 5 to a couch (crowded: 3 to a couch was optimum). Gives an insight to John lying in Jesus bosom....
The myth of Peter as head of the church was not promugated until the 4th century, and was never accepted by the Orthodox. Many of the supports of that myth are either ridiculous, or fraud.
Constantinius had reasons for moving his capital away from Rome, the Romans being part of that.
From the photo in post #1, my guess is that the dig is at site # 65.
Why do you think that? There's more independent evidence (not to mention a contemporaneous epitaph on the site of his former burial place) for the existence of St. Peter than most of the Romans of the time.
I rather wonder why you think so, except some vague assumption that it couldn't *possibly* be true simply because it is has been maintained for 2000 years straight.
There is of course, no question that the Romans and the Etruscans borrowed many practices. Or that Romans buried their dead in necropoli (I have, in fact, been to the most famous Etruscan one at Cerveteri).
But what that has to do with St. Peter being a myth, I have no idea. To say nothing of the NT, the historical sources--*from the 2nd century* are unanimous in putting Peter in Rome. We have found his name scratched on graffiti in that necropolis below the cathedral.
Do you expect us to believe that an entirely different person of an entirely different name--both lost to history--headed the Christian community in Rome? A person apparently totally forgotten by everyone? And instead the Christian writers of the 1st and second century, who could name the succession from Peter to Linus to Clement and on, (oops!) just accidentally ascribed the founding to a made-up Galilean fisherman?
*Sigh*...how I tire of this modern fetish of "debunking".
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