Monday, November 4, 2013


Mid-third century AD
Two levels of which the upper one was destroyed in 1926 for the construnctions on the surface. The lower one was discovered in 1929
The name comes from an inscription of the second half of the fourth century discovered in 1932 in a large niche of a semicircular tomb painted in red with borders in mosaic: Novatiano beatissimo marturi Gaudentius diaconus fecit, the deacon Gaudentius did this for the blessed martyr Novatian
The cemetery was therefore attributed to Novatian, whose identification, however, is still debated among scholars
Perhaps it was the antipope Novatian, schismatic, who was martyred in 258 under Valerian (253/260)
In the same cubicle of Novatian's tomb "Four coffins engraved with biblical scenes" of Constantinian age
"An example of collective area of great extent dating to about the middle of the second century with a mixed system of tunnels laid out as 'herringbones' and as 'grills' housed the tomb of the martyr Novatian on the Via Tiburtina (...). The area is perfectly dated since its earliest development by five funerary inscriptions found 'in situ', referring to the years 266 and 270. All the tombs, except perhaps that of the martyr (originally - it is believed - a tomb as a 'table'), are of the simplest niche type" (Vincenzo Fiocchi Nicolai)
The GRAVE OF ANTISTIA EUPHANILLA was also found: through a small slit on the top, the archaeologists were able to see inside, perfectly preserved, the remains of the woman with shreds of her dress and the hairdressing with gold threads and large tufts of hair

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