Friday, 12 September 2014

KOM ASH-SHUQQAFA. A ROMAN NECROPOLIS TRAPPED IN TIME

The Catacombs of Kom ash-Shuqqafa in Alexandria, Egypt, are an incredible set of subterranean Ancient Roman tombs.



When a donkey accidentally fell through the ground with his cart, no one expected the discovery that was about to be made.

These ancient catacombs date back to 2AD and are underground burial crypts of upper class Romans, and comprise of a maze of rooms and passageways, including the triclinium, a banqueting hall for the relatives of the deceased and the main tomb. The ornate decorations inside the catacombs are an eclectic blend of Roman, Greek and Egyptian.



The details of this subterranean zone defy comprehensible description- the walls are all engraved and designed with intricate patterns and the tunnels are complex and well laid out- it is said they have as much technological expertise as that of our modern day subway systems but are far more detailed and aesthetically pleasing.



Made up of three levels containing 300 bodies, the Catacombs of Kom ash-Shuqqafa represent the true sophistication of ancient Roman engineering.



The question is, are the burial areas haunted?

Certainly some visitors have reported strange ethereal sounds, and a pervasive atmosphere inside certain areas of the burial chambers.

Worth a visit if you should be in Alexandria, and despite the civil unrest which is afflicting this most ancient country.




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