Jewish Catacombs at Venosa (PZ) Public Tours on September 24-25, 2016

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The Soprintendenza Archeologia, Belle Arti e Paesaggio della Basilicata in collaboration with the Centro Operativo di Venosa is sponsoring guided tours of the Jewish Catacombs of Venosa (PZ) during the Giornate Europee del Patrimonio (September 24-25, 2016).

Tours will be held throughout the weekend of September 24-25, 2016 between the hours of 9 a.m. - 6 p.m..  The ticket price is € 2,50, also good for admission to the Venosa Museum and Archaeological Park.  It is necessary to reserve a space on a tour in advance by calling: 0972 36095 - 339 4004298.  The catacombs are located on Via Ofantina near the train station of Venosa (map).
Event contact: Tel. 0971 489439; e-mail: antonio.rosa@beniculturali.it.

Click here for information about how to visit the Jewish Catacombs of Venosa on alternative dates.

The Jewish catacombs of Venosa date to the fourth - sixth centuries CE, and are formed by tunnels excavated into the hillside that were subsequently developed and, in several instances linked by cross-galleries.  The patterns of excavation for tombs in this communal cemetery appear virtually identical for the area's Christians and Jews.  The Jewish site open to the public contains examples of loculi, forma (tombs in the pavement), and elongated niches, some squarish, some arched, that can hold multiple grave trenches parallel to the gallery.  A number of painted inscriptions in Greek, Latin, and Hebrew are conserved, though in a fragmentary state, on some of these tombs.  The texts of these have been published in English in D. Noy, Jewish Inscriptions of Western Europe, vol, 1, Cambridge, 1993 and the Fondazione per i Beni Culturali Ebraici provides an extensive photogallery of the inscriptions at this link.  Unfortunately, the painted arcosolium illustrated above is not visible at this time.