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  • Autoparco di S. Rosa
  • Roma, Città del Vaticano



    • The Italian Database is the result of a collaboration between:

      MIBAC (Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali - Direzione Generale per i Beni Archeologici),

      ICCD (Istituto Centrale per il Catalogo e la Documentazione) and

      AIAC (Associazione Internazionale di Archeologia Classica).

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    Summary (English)

    • A cemetery area covering circa 500 m2 was identified during the construction of a new car-park and constitutes the northern continuation of the “Autoparco” necropolis. It extended within the walls of the Vatican in the tract corresponding with the end of Via Leone IV as it curves to meet Piazza Risorgimento.

      Over forty chamber tombs of different sizes and over two hundred single tombs distributed along the hill slope on several levels were found. There were terraces on some parts of the slope, some of which irregular and rather steep and uneven. The necropolis developed in two main phases: the first between the end of the 1st century B.C. and the beginning of the 2nd century A.D., the second from the mid 3rd century to the beginning of the 4th century. Subsequently, the area was progressively abandoned. A series of landslides during the 2nd century A.D. covered the first phase burials and provided the terrain on which those of the second phase were built. The tombs, thus sealed, were in many cases intact, often preserving the grave goods, sarcophaghi, urns, gravestones, altars – almost all with inscriptions – and diverse decorations – frescoes, stucco work, high quality mosaics. The larger tombs, both of the 1st and 3rd century A.D. were mainly distributed along the eastern wall of the excavation, closer to the via Trionfale. In the south-eastern corner of the area inhumation burials of the 3rd century A.D. were present in a space free of monuments.

      Occupation of the central area, relating to the first phase of the necropolis (end of the 1st century B.C.-first half of the 2nd century A.D.) was of the same entity. It was characterised by cremations buried directly in the ground in terracotta urns, or perhaps wickerwork or wooden urns that have not survived. The epigraphic evidence provided information about the social status of the deceased: slaves and freedmen were present, some of whom linked to the imperial family as an imperial servant ex Nemore Cai et Luci (usually known as Nemus Caesarum ); a servant of Nero custos de Theatro Pompeiano de scaena, a freedman tabularius a patrimoniis of the same emperor. Also present were tabellarii, a hortator, a sculptor, a Legatus Coloniae Augustae Firmae (modern Astigi in Spain). A number of larger chamber tombs and ‘colombari’ tombs contained higher status burials, mainly destined for individuals of free birth, including a family of equestrian rank.

    • Paolo Liverani - Musei Vaticani 


    • Francesco Buranelli - Musei Vaticani


    • Lorenzo Di Blasi - Musei Vaticani
    • Giandomenico Spinola - Musei Vaticani

    Research Body

    • Musei Vaticani

    Funding Body

    • Governatorato della Città del Vaticano


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