Cat­a­combs

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3300 BCE

A vari­a­tion on ground burial, cat­a­combs are subter­ranean ceme­ter­ies with a net­work of tun­nels and re­cesses for tombs. They orig­i­nated in the Mid­dle East 6,000 years ago and spread to Rome with Jewish mi­gra­tion and early Chris­tians gath­ered in Rome’s cat­a­combs to share funeral meals and mark anniversaries. The Paris Cat­a­combs are the most fa­mous as they were opened as a pub­lic at­trac­tion in the 19th cen­tury. Former quar­ries, they were con­verted from 1786 to re­lo­cate bones from the city’s over­flow­ing ceme­ter­ies.

The Cat­a­combs of the San Gen­naro in Naples, Italy

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