Pontifical Commission for Sacred Archaeology

The Commission for Sacred Archaeology was established thanks to an idea of Giovanni Battista de Rossi, the Roman archaeologist who laid the scientific foundations of Christian Archaeology , studying and excavating the Roman catacombs, according to a modern topographical method, which simultaneously took into consideration both historical sources and existing monuments.

Recognized as an “Institution” by Pope Pius IX on January 6, 1852 to preserve the sacred ancient cemeteries, to take care of their conservation, further explorations, investigations, study, to also protect the most ancient memories of the first Christian centuries, the famous monuments, ancient Churches, in Rome, in the suburbs and Roman soil and also in other Dioceses in agreement with the respective Ordinaries, the Commission was declared “Pontifical” by Pope Pius XI (Motu Proprio, I primitivi cimiteri, December 11, 1925), also attributing more powers to it.

Recently, the Pontifical Commission for Sacred Archaeology has received a great boost, both as regards archaeological and conservation activities, carried out according to the most modern excavation and restoration criteria, and also concerning the technical, documentary and operational organization, to offer an increasingly valid and effective support for the knowledge and protection of the precious monumental and spiritual heritage entrusted to it.

The Pontifical Commission for Sacred Archaeology is located in the Pontifical Institute for Christian Archaeology , via Napoleone III, 1 – 00185 Rome – tel. + 39 /; + 39 /; e-mail: protocol@arcsacra.vapcas@arcsacra.va; website: catacombeditalia.va