To mark the Jubilee of Mercy, some significant but little known monuments are opening all over Rome. One of those sites is the cemetery where Saint Paul was buried after his martyrdom, about six kilometres from the Vatican.
- Rome Reports
The necropolis was discovered through excavations between 1917 and 1918. It's one of the greatest records of Roman life in the first few centuries after Jesus Christ.
"The type of tombs show us that they belonged to people from the middle and lower class," says archaeologist Cristina Carta. "Every niche had a cost. To overlook the street was most expensive because of its visibility. It was a way of showing the social class of the deceased, his social status.”
Some tombs even have preserved frescoes. Thanks to the inscriptions, historians can learn the identity of the dead. There are young people and old, along with free people and well-known former slaves who were set free by their owners. The richness of the tombs also offers hints as to how some of them were able to make their fortunes.