Cat Leads Rome Man To 2,000-Year-Old Catacombs

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We already know that cats have nine lives, but it turns out some have a sixth sense for finding ancient ruins too. According to The Guardian, a feline tracked down a 2,000-year-old catacomb and led a Rome man to the amazing discovery.

Mirko Curti happened upon the piece of history while following a cat he spotted near his apartment building. Curti and his friend kept up with the kitty as the animal pawed its way through the rock cliffs of Via di Pietralata. Eventually, the feline ducked into a grotto, where Curti followed after the animal, listening for the cat's meows.

Once inside the small space, Curti realized he was surrounded by bones and niches used by Ancients Romans to hold urns. Archaeologists were brought to the area soon after. After an initial inspection, the professionals believe that the catacombs date back between 1st century BC and the 2nd century AD.

Archaeologists also noted that the opening into the catacombs was recently revealed. Heavy rains from the week before most likely shifted the rocks blocking the entrance to the priceless remains.

Several historic catacombs have been found in the area due to the soft rock found throughout the city. The tufa rock made it easy for Ancient Romans to dig holes for urns and other remains.These continuing finds leave some modern-day Romans underwhelmed, but Curti told The Guardian that the discovery is the greatest experience of his life.

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wow, id like to take a poke around!

October 25 2012 at 7:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Unknown Subject

So is Mirko Curti the cat? Sounds like a cat.

October 19 2012 at 4:08 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

after that the cat took his catamaran to Catalina and catted around with Cat Stevens..

October 19 2012 at 3:26 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I want to know too..did the kitty find a good home after this?

October 19 2012 at 2:05 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

How fitting...the cat discovered a CATacomb.

October 19 2012 at 1:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

the cats are wonderful!!

October 18 2012 at 11:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

See Wikipedia for a bit of clarification, in this link to other Roman use: --- Tuff, not tufa, it would seem.

October 18 2012 at 7:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Sorry Jason, it IS "TUFFA", a form of limestone that is soft enough to carve while underground, but hardens to rock when exposed to the air. It was the reason the Romans could produce strong fast setting concrete that made it possible to do monumental buildling. The limestone tuffa and a volcanic ash call porceliana made the strong lightweigh building material. Check out Janson's History of Art or Gardner's Art through the Ages.

October 18 2012 at 7:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to skchuck112's comment

OMG--is Janson's still published? Back in the dark ages when I went to college, Janson's was already in multiple printings. In my middle years, when I took a second degree, I had to take the Class called Art History at PSU at CSU because THEY called it History of Art instead of Art History. We saw the same slides and had the same book (many iterations later) that I had used at Penn State 25 years before.

October 19 2012 at 1:13 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The name of the rock is tuff, not tufa. Are you hiring any proofreaders because I'm available.

October 18 2012 at 6:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Assassin's Creed Brotherhood made a perfect representation of Roma!

October 18 2012 at 4:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
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