"Information about and insights into the ancient Mediterranean communities will enrich us all, and will pave the way for future investigations into many other areas of Europe, the Near East, and North Africa. The horizons are unlimited." - Estelle Shohet Brettman, ICS Founder (1925-1991)
The International Catacomb Society started in Boston in 1980 as an ecumenical and interfaith network of individuals passionate about the preservation of ancient Jewish and Early Christian material remains in countries around the Mediterranean. In the ensuing decades, ICS has become a major financial contributor through its Shohet Scholars Grant Program to current research in these sites.
Shohet Scholar grant recipients have excavated catacombs in Tunisia and Sicily, ancient Greek tombs in Corinth, shipwrecks in Turkey, and a venerated crypt in Cana, Galilee; they have analyzed and preserved unique ancient wall paintings in Egypt and recovered traces of polychromy on the ancient reliefs of Jewish Temple instruments decorating the Arch of Titus in Rome; they have tracked down rare material evidence of Late Antique religious practices outside the walls of churches, temples, and synagogues, and have documented how the fashions of the times reflected key attitudes toward education, philosophy, and status. And these are only a few of the dynamic and innovative projects carried out and reported on with ICS support.
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