Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa Facts

Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa Facts
The Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa is one of the Seven Wonders of the Medieval Ages. It is located in Alexandria, Egypt and is a historical archaeological site. The catacombs consist of several Alexandrian tombs. Although it was originally intended as a burial chamber for only one family, it was expanded to allow for many other people. These underground tunnels were built around the 2nd century A.D. and still exist today.
Interesting Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa Facts:
The Catacombs of Kom Shoqafa was used as a burial ground from the 2nd to the 4th centuries A.D.
Kom el Shoqafa means Mound of Shards. The reason for this name is that there used to mounds of terra cotta shards. These shards were once jars and other clay objects brought into the tombs by visitors. The visitors bring food and wine to consume during their visit but did not want to bring the dishes home. Instead of taking them from the ‘place of death' they would break them and leave them behind.
Upon entering the Catacombs you encounter a circular staircase that takes you down to a room with both Roman and Egyptian art. To the left is the room where mourners of the deceased would sit. Another staircase leads down to a room full of sculptures.
On the first level there is a hallway that leads to room called the Hall of Caracalla. This room was not intended to be a tomb but does contain human bones as well as horse bones. This is thought to be a mass burial chamber for those who were killed in 215 A.D. by the Emperor Caracalla.
There have been three sarcophagi found in the Catacombs. These are basically big stone coffins. They were made out of solid pieces of rock and decorated with images of flowers and gods and other scenes. The access to the inside of the coffins was through a passageway that ran around the outside of wall of the chamber.
There were many archaeological artifacts discovered in the Catacombs. There were objects found that had Roman, Egyptian and Greek influences.
The Catacombs were built using ancient world ‘rock-cut technology'. The tombs were essential tunneled into the bedrock. The three levels of the Catacombs were cut through solid rock.
The Catacombs are in very good shape today because they were covered for so many years and left undisturbed.
The third level (lowest) of the Catacombs is under water today.
The Catacombs reach 100 feet down into the ground into solid rock.
The Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa were not likely the only tomb of its kind built in this time but others have not been discovered in the same good shape.
On September 28, 1900, the Catacombs were discovered by accident. A donkey lost its footing and fell in through an access shaft. Excavators had been searching for the Catacombs since 1892 but had no luck until the donkey had his mishap.
It's been said that the Catacombs are evidence of three cultures, religions and art that came together on Egyptian soil.

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