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The Globe and Mail

Exploring Rome's underground: skulls and controversial frescoes

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The catacomb of Priscilla in Rome was used for Christian burials from the late 2nd century through the 4th century.

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The catacomb reopened on Tuesday to the public after years of restoration. This marble inscription is one of the many treasures.

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Other artifacts, such as this skull, are not for the faint of heart.

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The complex is also viewable in a dedicated section of Google Maps.

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Proponents of a female priesthood say some of the frescoes prove there were women priests in early Christianity.

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The catacombs were rediscovered in the 16th century and plundered of many gravestones, sarcophagi and bodies. Excavations in modern times began in the 19th century.

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Laser technology was used to clean some of the ancient frescoes.

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A new museum houses restored marble fragments of sarcophagi.

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