Science: Another Catacomb

Most archaeological discoveries are made by arduous searching; in age-old Rome they sometimes force themselves on the diggers' attention. This week the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano told about a catacomb that had to call for attention twice before it got noticed.

Last year construction workers digging foundations on the Via Latina, an ancient street branching off the Appian Way, noticed small holes in the earth. The news was passed to the Pontifical Commission for Sacred Archaeology, which ordered Engineer Mario di Santa Maria to excavate further. Entering through a shaft bored in the ground, he and his colleagues penetrated an elaborate catacomb,...