archeo rome cemetary

ROMA ‘JEWISH’ ARCHEOLOGIA e RESTAURO ARCHITETTURA: ‘Here Lies’: A Clue in Hebrew Points to Rome’s Medieval Jewish Cemetery, THE NEW YORK TIMES (28/03/2017), A10; & Campus Iudeorum | Trastevere – La Necropoli Ebrei, IL MESSAGGERO (22/03/2017), p.55; & HAMODIA (04/04/2017).

“…Very little is known about the identities of those found in the dig. A small piece of stone with Hebrew writing was found that is believed to have come from a matzeivah.”

1). ROMA – ‘Here Lies’: A Clue in Hebrew Points to Rome’s Medieval Jewish Cemetery. THE NEW YORK TIMES (29/03/2017), A10.

ROME — Excavations that unearth some artifact or another are common enough in Rome, but archaeologists monitoring a building restoration were taken aback when they found 38 well-preserved skeletons that they believe were once buried in the long-vanished Campus Iudeorum, or Field of the Jews.

Scholars knew that Jews were buried in the Trastevere neighborhood of Rome from 1363 to 1645, when the cemetery was moved to make room for new city walls, but the recovery of the remains was the first tangible sign — at least in recent times — of one section of the burial site near the Tiber River.

“We didn’t understand who the skeletons could have belonged to at first,” because there were no markers to explain their provenance, said Daniela Rossi, an archaeologist who oversaw the dig, which began six years ago when work began on the renovation of a building from the early 20th century.

So the archaeologists scrutinized historical maps showing the cemetery, and, using carbon dating technology, they estimated that the skeletons were from the mid-14th to the mid-16th century, which also coincided with the dates the cemetery existed.

Except for two women who were buried wearing gold rings, and a man buried with a scale, the corpses had been buried without funerary goods, “which is typical of Jewish funerary practices,” Ms. Rossi said.

Vatican and Rome’s Jewish Museum Team Up for Menorah Exhibit FEB. 20, 2017
Further proof came via a fragment of travertine marble found nearby with Hebrew writing unmistakably associated with a cemetery. “The characters read ‘here lies,’” said Alessio De Cristofaro, one of the archaeologists involved in the excavation. “All the elements converged to identify this as the Campus Iudeorum.”

Jews first came to Rome in the second century B.C. and for centuries many inhabited the Trastevere neighborhood, said Claudio Procaccia, the director of the culture department for the Jewish Community of Rome.

Though Jews were forcibly confined to a ghetto under Pope Paul IV in 1555, living in overcrowded and unhygienic conditions in a constantly flooding area on the opposite side of the river from Trastevere, in previous centuries “the condition of Jews in Rome was more acceptable than in other cities,” Mr. Procaccia said.

In 1645, when Pope Urban VIII built new city walls, the cemetery was moved to the Aventine Hill, where Jews were buried until 1934.


— THE NEW YORK TIMES (28/03/2017), A10.


2) ROMA – Roma La necropoli ebrea scoperta a Trastevere, FOTO | IL MESSAGGERO (22/03/2017).

Uno scavo arrivato ad una profondità di otto metri dal livello stradale, e una storia inedita che si riscrive strato dopo strato. Trastevere si racconta nella vertigine di un viaggio a ritroso nel tempo, che intercetta capitoli di un Medioevo noto solo sulle carte d’archivio, per toccare l’epopea imperiale di Settimio Severo, fino ad ora evocata solo dalle fonti. Siamo a via delle Mura Portuensi, nel cantiere monumentale di Palazzo Leonori per la ristrutturazione della nuova sede delle Assicurazioni di Roma. È qui che è tornato alla luce il sepolcreto medievale della comunità ebraica di Roma, il cosiddetto Campus Iudeorum. Si tratta di una parte importante che ha restituito trentotto sepolture (ciascuna con gli scheletri integri) databili tra la metà del XIV secolo e la metà del XVII secolo: momento chiave, il 600, quando il cimitero ebraico venne trasferito all’Aventino nell’area dell’attuale Roseto Comunale (come ricordano le aiuole che disegnano oggi la Menorah).

PDF = La necropoli ebrea | IL MESSAGGERO (22/03/2017).

PDF = ROMA – Roma La necropoli ebrea scoperta a Trastevere, IL MESSAGGERO (22/03/2017).


— FOTO | IL MESSAGGERO (22/03/2017).


3). ROMA – Remains of Jews from Historic Cemetery in Rome Re-Interred. HAMODIA (04/04/2017).

NEW YORK – Nearly two weeks after archaeologists announced that they had unearthed the remains of 38 bodies from a historic Jewish burial ground in Rome, the city’s Chief Rabbi has succeeded in re-interring them in the community’s active cemetery. (…) The remains were exhumed from an area once known as the Campus Iudeorum, or Field of Jews in Latin. It was used as the main burial grounds of Rome’s Jewish community from the 14th century until about 1580, and was long ago leveled and built upon.


— HAMODIA (04/04/2017).