A Pendant Found in the Catacombs of Priscilla in Rome

Source: FSSPX News

A rare discovery was announced by L’Osservatore Romano on August 30, 2018: a pendant dating back to the 4th century was found on the third floor of the Catacombs of Priscilla in Rome.

In a funeral compartment in the main artery of the Catacombs of Priscilla, a research team discovered a cameo pendant. The “large, oval, white and brown onyx” jewel shows the profile of a “noblewoman with braided hair that leaves her ear uncovered.” “She is wearing a draped and embroidered gown, and a necklace with small rectangular plates,” reads the description by L’Osservatore Romano.

According to Fabrizio Bisconti, superintendent of the catacombs for the Pontifical Commission for Sacred Archeology, it is a family jewel that belonged to an ancestor of the deceased person from two generations earlier. The archeologist thus deduces that the burial could have taken place in the very beginning of the 4th century, under Pope Marcel I (308-309) and Emperor Maxentius, whose persecutions against the Christians were severe.

The Catacombs of Priscilla are one of largest and oldest catacombs in Rome. The heart of this necropolis dates back to the end of the 2nd century. It is named after the owner of the property, the Roman matron Priscilla, whose son, the senator Pudens, welcomed St. Peter. Because of the great number of martyrs buried there, it has been nicknamed “regina catacumbarum”, the queen of the catacombs.