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Late Antiquity, Catacomes - Research Paper Example

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Name: Course Name: Instructor: Date: Catacombs are by very definition subterranean areas that are oftentimes concealed and hidden; inclusive of passageways, constructed for religious practices. Although hidden passages and caves in which individuals would seek refuge date back to the prehistoric era, the most well known catacombs necessarily date back to the Roman era; where they were used for burial and religious purposes…
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Late Antiquity, Catacomes
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Late Antiquity, Catacomes

Download file to see previous pages... In each type of religion, it is prevalent that people pay much attention to the catacombs of their own religion. Some historians have paid in depth attention to the reason behind the invasion and creation of this type of religious art. Their judgments show the emergence of this concept to have erupted as a way set out by the religious communities to practice their religion more easily. For instance, Christianity was considered as an illegal religion during the 2nd and 3rd century (Ricciardi 991). Hence, to practice their rituals, they formed a special place to perform underground burials; according to their tradition. Later, when their religion received legal status during 313 AD, their burial processions henceforth moved from the catacombs into the public sphere. Since catacombs were a new and a very different concept from the naturally existing burial processes of the present age, many historians and archeologists have shown high levels interest in their background and antiquity. Jorg Scheid, one of the archeologists from the United States has put a major work in this field. Scheid aimed examining the condition of the dead bodies that were centuries earlier buried underground (Yeomans 59). His aim, however, could not be very successfully carried forward, since his digging was greatly hampered due to the fact that many of the possible signs and indications, that could have otherwise have been helpful to assess the bodies and utilize catacombs for ancient study, were destroyed in past fires, flooding, earth quakes or other natural disasters (Delgado 321). Yet, he could gain his major findings and base his observations mainly on the remains of the cloths that were used for covering the dead bodies. Some archeologists evenly studied and tried to observe the conditions and reasons behind the damage of the dead bodies and their destroyed shapes. They figured out that the dead bodies in the catacombs under the Capuchin Monastery zone were kept under a temperature of 25 degree Celsius; along with an intensely humid environment that ranged almost above 80 percent over the normal rate. This temperature management was proven to be totally unsuitable and not ideal for maintaining or preserving dead bodies; which was the major reason of making catacombs. The people of past centuries believed to maintain the dead bodies of their religious heroes to be seen and idealized by the coming generations. But the storage conditions proved ineffective for the sustainability and long lasting maintenance of the catacomb’s dead bodies. Yet, the archeologists have reported that certain dead bodies are better preserved than the others. They claim them to have superior in the religious practices of their age, and hence, were treated by the than people with respect after death and they were kept and preserved with more care. These supposed catacomb heroes are mostly found with large amount of tissues still existing within their bodies; still un-decomposed. Other than the heroic traits or religious superiority that was assumed by the archeologists to have been the major reason ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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