Bling and Bones: The Skeletons of Rome’s Catacombs are Rockin’ Some Serious Gold


These skeletons of Christian martyrs draped in gold an jewels make the blinged-out rappers of today look like paupers.

During the 16th century the Roman Catholic church commisioned that the remains of early Christian martyrs be moved to select European churches for safekeeping to replace relics that were lost or destroyed during the Protestant Reformation. While under care of the church, skeletons were adorned with wigs, fine clothes and a ridiculous amount of jewelry. It was all meant to be a physical reminder of the heavenly churches that awaited in the afterlife. It also serves as a ridiculous example of the Catholic church’s wealth.

Paul Koudounaris specializes in photography of mummies, skeletal remains and other creepy objects of the dead and has taken these amazing photographs for his book “Heavenly Bodies.” Many of these skeletons have never been photographed before, the Catholic church doesn’t let just anybody with a camera start snapping photos of their dead saints.





Via Colossal

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