Sunday, October 21, 2012

Cat in the catacombs

The catacomb of Saints Marcellinus and Peter in Rome, which has been the subject of an excavation project ongoing since 2005 and undertaken collaboratively by the Pontifical Commission of Sacred Archaeology, Le Centre national de la recherche scientifique , the Ecole française of Rome, the Institut national de recherches archéologiques préventives, and the Maison des Sciences de l'Homme of Aquitaine

Rome resident Mirko Curti's cat ran off on Tuesday and it made international news. Why? Because it led to the discovery of another set of the eternal city's subterranean burial chambers. Curti describes what he found after following the meows of his pet as "the most incredible experience" of his life. There in the cliffs near Via di Pietralata where he lives were catacombs dating from the 1st-2nd c. B.C.E. In the walls were the niches used to hold funeral urns. On the floor were bones, which may have fallen from a chamber further up in the tufa. Unlike Graeme Riley, Ace of Cats, this kitty - though getting plenty of press - is neither named nor pictured...

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