The fresco was found during restoration work at the Catacombs of San Gennaro (Saint Januarius) in the southern port city of Naples by experts from the Pontifical Commission of Sacred Art.
The announcement was made on the feast day of St Peter and Paul which is traditionally a bank holiday in Rome and details of the discovery were disclosed in the Vatican’s official newspaper L’Osservatore Romano.
A photograph released by the Vatican shows the apostle, famous for his conversion to Christianity from Judaism, with a long neck, a slightly pink complexion, thinning hair, a beard and big eyes that give his face a “spiritual air.”
Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, who is Pope Benedict’s Culture Minister, wrote in L’Osservatore Romano:”The image of St Paul has an intense expression, philosophical and its discovery enriches our imager of one of the principal apostles.” Read more.
An ancient Roman cemetery has been uncovered by archeologists in Tunisia south of the capital, Tunis. The cemetery was found in Lamta, near the coastal town of Monastir, 160 km south of the capital, and is believed to be the only one of its kind discovered in the North African country. Tunisia has a rich history that dates back to the 12th century BC and until recent political unrest the country’s ancient ruins from the Punic era and the Roman Empire attracted tourists from all over the world. Read more.
A large number of animal sacrifices found on an archaeological dig have shown Carshalton was likely to have been a key spiritual site in the Iron Age.
Ancient Roman remains of buried babies and animals were unearthed last summer at an archaeological dig on the site of the new Stanley Park High School.
Now a consultant archaeologist who worked on the dig has said more than a hundred animal sacrifices on the site, including sheep, a pig, a horse, a goat and dogs show it must have attracted a large number of people.
Duncan Hawkins said: “It was extraordinary. Normally the number of ritual pits found in a settlement is two or three, but on this site we found more than 30.” Read more.