Paintings Of Jesus Christ Discovered in 1,600-Year-Old Roman Catacombs
An image of Christ seated on a throne and surrounded by his apostles has been found in the catacombs of Rome in St. Domitilla in Italy.
The catacombs sprawl out for over ten miles running in a labyrinth of tunnels underneath Rome and they are home to many tombs, with many of the tombs belonging to the elite of the city.
A technique that was called laser cleaning, with researchers using lasers to remove the grime that has built up over many centuries, led them to reveal two sections of catacombs with elaborate frescoes.
The burial chamber was said to be used by a grain purchaser, which in scholarly literature is often referred to as a Baker, with the introduction showing what is said to be a personal presentation of the dead to Christ.
Archaeologist Barbara Mazzei from the Pontifical Commission for Sacred Archaeology revealed that the burial chambers had been discovered around 400 years ago by Antonio Bosio, an explorer.
Mazzei said that only the very wealthy families were able to afford to purchase a burial chamber.
The catacombs are said to date back around 1,600 years and it is thought that they are among the oldest of cemeteries belonging to Christians.
When the lasers had been used to chip away the soot along with the rest of the particles that had built up throughout the years, a 1,600-year-old fresco was revealed and it showed a grain purchaser in great details.
Researchers had previously known about the individual and said that he had been called the Baker.
The grain purchaser had been buried in the chamber and he was dressed in a tunic that was said to be richly decorated and found behind a big modius, a container used for measuring and the distribution of grain.
Walls close to the image of the grain purchaser show the details of Annona`s activities, an office which is said to deal with the purchase and the distribution of the grains supply for Rome.
The grain purchaser was said to be someone of high rank along with relevance in the office of Annona.
It was said that the grain purchaser seemed to be extremely proud of the work he was doing and the social level that he had gained.
Also revealed in the catacombs was a bucolic scene featuring a shepherd and another one with Christ sat on the throne and seated between two groups of apostles.
Other scenes had been drawn from the old and the New Testament.
Close to the fresco of the grain purchaser in a different section of the catacombs in Rome, the cleaning showed details of a fresco that showed Christ sitting on a throne with his right arm being raised, with two individuals that were deceased along with their patron saints.
It is thought that they are the Princes belonging to Paul and Peter, waiting to be let into the Kingdom of Heaven.
Mazzei had said that the subject is very rare in regards to the repertoire of the catacomb paintings.
Mazzei went on to say that there are more frescoes needing to be cleaned in the region close to the tomb of the grain purchaser along with other regions in the ancient catacombs which are underneath Rome.