Palaeo-Christian Necropolis and Museum

The world of death

 «The world of death» interpretation centre

 «The world of death» interpretation centre

This interpretation centre presents the world of death in Roman times and the way funerals took place in Tarraco. It also exhibits the most important pieces found during excavation work.

Here an analysis is made of its discovery in 1923 and of the research conducted to recover the site, with a special homage to Mn. Joan Serra i Vilaró, the driving force behind the research and subsequent consolidation of the site as a museum and visitors’ centre.

Also exhibited are the different types of burials practised in Tarraco that have been revealed by the excavations, and the funeral sculptures that decorated the tombs. The centre also presents the population who lived in Tarraco during the centuries when the necropolis was operative, the offerings deposited on the tombs and the rituals observed, with the symbolism used by the earliest Christians in Tarraco, related with the figures of Fructuosus, bishop of Tarraco, and his deacons Augurius and Eulogius, who were cremated in the amphitheatre arena. Their ashes were gathered and - with all probability - deposited in the Palaeo-Christian necropolis where, at the beginning of the 5th century, a basilica was built in their memory.

AUDIOGUIDE

01. The Paleochristian necropolis in Tarragona

Listen to the audio guide of this museum

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OBJECTS

<p>Fragment of the sculpture with the representation of the funerary deity, Attis. 2nd century AD. Stone from M&egrave;dol / <em>sold&oacute;</em> (a type of limestone). 42 x 20 x 30 cm.</p>
Head of Attis
Head of Attis
<p>Fragment of an inscription dedicated to Bishop Fructuosus and his deacons. 5th &ndash; 6th centuries. Parian marble. 9 x 18 x 12 cm.</p>
Fragment of an Inscription
Fragment of an Inscription
<p>The Lions&rsquo; Sarcophagus, located in the Early Christian Necropolis. 3rd century AD. White Luni-Carrara marble, 66 x 205 x 75 cm.</p>
The Lions’ Sarcophagus
The Lions’ Sarcophagus
<p>The Sarcophagus of the Teacher, found at the Palaeo-Christian necropolis, 3rd century AD, white El Procon&egrave;s marble, 71 &times; 216 &times; 67&nbsp;cm.</p>
Sarcophagus of the Teacher
Sarcophagus of the Teacher
<p>Tombstone of LUCIO VALERIO BARBARO. Early 2nd century AD. Luni-Carrara marble. 35 x 37.5 x 3 cm.</p>
Tombstone
Tombstone
<p>Articulated ivory doll, found in the Palaeo-Christian necropolis, 3rd-4th centuries, ivory, 23 &times; 6,5 &times; 1.5&nbsp;cm.</p>
Articulated ivory doll
Articulated ivory doll
<p>Mosaic featuring &Ograve;ptim, 4th-5th centuries AD, limestone, marble and pasta vitream,&nbsp;<em>opus tessellatum,&nbsp;</em>162 &times; 83&nbsp;cm.</p>
Òptim’s tombstone
Òptim’s tombstone
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