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Archeological Area of the Sepulcher of the Scipions
This burial ground is situated near the Via Appia, just off Porta San Sebastiano (the entrance is from street number 9 of via di Porta San Sebastiano) in an area that includes several funeral complexes. The tomb was discovered by chance in 1614. A new discovery took place in 1780 by the owners of the land where the tomb is situated. It belonged to one of the most ancient and famous patrician families of the Roman Republican Age, the Cornelii Scipiones. The tomb was dug out of the tuff bank at the beginning of the third century BC and consists internally of a square room with four large pillars at the center spared by the tuff that divide the room in four galleries. The sarcophagi were placed within spaces dug out specially for them along the walls and the pillars. The sarcophagus of the founder of the family Lucius Cornelius Scipio Barbatus, consul in 298 BC (whose original is now in the Vatican Museums), is situated at the end of the central corridor in front of the entrance. Around the middle of the second century the tomb was enlarged by digging out a smaller single room next to the first one. The external facade also dates back to this period. It consists of a high base with a moulded frame and is surmounted by a prospect of six semicolumns that framed three niches, where the statues of the poet Ennius, Scipio Africanus and Scipio Aemilianus were probably placed. The base was decorated with paintings of historical scenes and a stylized wave motif. Traces of the decorations remain. Three arched doors open on the same base: a blind door (now replaced by a passage that leads to a medieval calcar that has partly damaged the tomb), a central door that led into the more ancient tomb and a door on the right (the only one still preserved) that accesses the more recent tomb. When the Cornelii Scipiones family died away at the beginning of the empire, the tomb was reused shortly in the Julian-Claudian Age (beginning of the first century AD) by their heirs the Cornelii Lentuli that used some of the loculi for cremations.
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Via di Porta San Sebastiano 9, Rome
Open to organized groups (max 12 people) by reservation only. Phone Booking required: call (+39) 06 0608 (daily from 9.00 am to 9.00 pm). For October, November and December 2015: booking will be open on Monday, June 22. For January, February and March 2016 booking will be open on September 14th 2015. For April, May and June 2016 booking will be open on December 14th 2015. For July, August and September 2016 booking will be open on March 14th 2016. For October, November and December 2016 booking will be open on June 13th 2016.
Concessions: € 3,00. Please note: The price of the ticket does not include guided tours organized by Cultural Associations.
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