Wednesday, June 23, 2010

EARLIEST KNOWN ICONS DISCOVERED IN CATACOMBS IN ROME


From The Sydney Morning Herald:

SANTA TECLA, Rome: The earliest known icons of four of Christ's apostles have been found in an elaborately decorated chamber in a catacomb beneath the streets of Rome.

Scientists used laser technology to remove a crust of dirt and calcium deposits and bring to light the brightly coloured 4th century paintings of the saints John, Paul, Andrew and Peter.

The images adorn the ceiling of a vault, carved out of volcanic rock, which provided the last resting place for a rich Roman noblewoman who converted to Christianity after it was declared legal by the emperor Constantine.

Oh my! What an exciting discovery. However, because of their fragility, not just anyone will be able to view the icons. Visitors will probably be limited to scholars. Still, for the rest of us, it's lovely to see photos.

8 comments:

Cathy said...

what gorgeous colours. I'd love to see them but I can see they would be easily damaged.

Erik Donald France said...

I love all the recent archeological finds these past few years -- very exciting, indeed.

Grandmère Mimi said...

The icons are lovely.

Erik, welcome. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a word.

Angie Ledbetter said...

I read an article on the catacomb discovery just this morning. So nice the archeologists/scientists now have laser tools to cut through all the moldy carbon build-up to get to the beautiful history and art below!

JCF said...

So awesome.

Grandmère Mimi said...

Angie, welcome to a fellow Louisianian! I read the article from the AP in the Advocate yesterday. I liked the picture in the Sydney Herald better than the AP's photo, which is why I linked to their article.

Awesome, indeed, JCF.

Doorman-Priest said...

I'm sure that's M.P.

Grandmère Mimi said...

DP, you think?