The Mystery of the Haunted Vampire

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Thursday, July 21, 2005

Rome's ancient Jewish catacombs

From The Associated Press:

A Jewish catacomb in Rome predates its Christian counterparts by at least 100 years, indicating burial in the city's sprawling underground cemeteries may not have begun as a Christian practice, according to a study published Wednesday. Scholars have long believed that early Christians were the first to bury their dead in Roman catacombs. But Dutch experts from Utrecht University who dated organic material from a Jewish catacomb in the city say it appears that early Christians inherited the practice from Jews. "Perhaps it doesn't clinch the argument, but it makes it very likely," said Leonard Victor Rutgers, an antiquities professor who led the university's team.
OK, several points I want to make. 1. How cool must it be to be an antiquities professor in Rome? 2. If there is anything better than an archaeological dig of ancient underground cemeteries, I don't know what it is. 3. Here's my standard disclaimer: I had nothing to do with any bodies found down there. I was in Cairo at the time.


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