Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS
Close Accessing Video

Roman Catacomb Mystery

Who or what killed hundreds of people hidden in a burial chamber nearly 2,000 years ago? Airing February 5, 2014 at 9 pm on PBS Aired February 5, 2014 on PBS

Program Description

Beneath the streets of Rome lies a city of the dead known as the Catacombs—a labyrinth of tunnels, hundreds of miles long, lined with the neatly laid out tombs of the citizens of ancient Rome. Here, in 2002, maintenance workers fixing a broken water main stumbled upon a previously unknown burial chamber like none other in the complex. It was a mass grave of hundreds of bodies spread across six roughly carved caverns, locked away for nearly 2000 years. Who were these people? And can we discover, after all these centuries, what killed them? Could they be Christian martyrs massacred by the Emperor? Or were they felled by a deadly plague? In “Roman Catacomb Mystery,” NOVA’s forensic investigation follows a trail of ancient clues to uncover new secrets of life, death, and disease in the heyday of a mighty empire.

Broadcast Credits

WRITTEN AND PRESENTED BY
Michael Scott
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
Chris Granlund
WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY
Paul Olding
PRODUCED BY
Andrea Illescas
EDITED BY
Felix Black
Seb Duthy
DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY
Andrew Fleming
SOUND RECORDIST
Paul Zanders
MUSIC
Niraj Chag
ANIMATION
Weave VFX
PRODUCTION COORDINATOR
Alison Connor
PRODUCTION MANAGER
Michelle Clinton
PRODUCTION EXECUTIVE
Jane Taylor
FRENCH INTERPRETER
Gemma Delaney
LOCATION MANAGER, ITALY
James Walker
ASSOCIATE RESEARCHER
Shraddha Chakradhar
ONLINE EDITOR AND COLORIST
Boyd Nagle
AUDIO MIX
Andrew Sears
ARCHIVAL MATERIAL
Bridgeman Art Library
Corbis
Framepool
Getty Images
INRAP
Mola
Scala
Superstock
SPECIAL THANKS
Area Archeologica di Aquileia - Su Gentile Concessione Della Soprintendenza Per I Beni Archeologici del Friuli Venezia Giulia
Anne Baron
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique
Thibaut Deviese
Brenda Gibson
Raffaella Giuliani - Fresco Reconstructive Hypothesis
Institut National de Recherches Archeologiques Preventives
Lamoliatte Marine
Pontifica Commissione per L’Archeologia Sacra
Geraldine Sachau
Soprintendenza Archeologica per il Lazio – Area Archeologica di Villa Adriana
Michael P. Speidel
Paola Ventura – Fresco Drawing and Watercolor
NOVA SERIES GRAPHICS
yU + co.
NOVA THEME MUSIC
Walter Werzowa
John Luker
Musikvergnuegen, Inc.
ADDITIONAL NOVA THEME MUSIC
Ray Loring
Rob Morsberger
CLOSED CAPTIONING
The Caption Center
POST PRODUCTION ONLINE EDITOR
Spencer Gentry
DIRECTOR OF PR
Jennifer Welsh
PUBLICITY
Eileen Campion
Eddie Ward
SENIOR RESEARCHER
Kate Becker
NOVA ADMINISTRATOR
Kristen Sommerhalter
PRODUCTION COORDINATOR
Linda Callahan
PARALEGAL
Sarah Erlandson
TALENT RELATIONS
Scott Kardel, Esq.
Janice Flood
LEGAL COUNSEL
Susan Rosen
DIRECTOR OF EDUCATION
Rachel Connolly
DIGITAL MANAGING PRODUCER
Kristine Allington
SENIOR DIGITAL EDITOR
Tim De Chant
DIRECTOR OF NEW MEDIA
Lauren Aguirre
DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATE
Lisa Leombruni
UNIT MANAGER
Ariam McCrary
POST PRODUCTION ASSISTANT
Brittany Flynn
POST PRODUCTION EDITOR
Rebecca Nieto
POST PRODUCTION MANAGER
Nathan Gunner
COMPLIANCE MANAGER
Linzy Emery
BUSINESS MANAGER
Elizabeth Benjes
DEVELOPMENT PRODUCER
David Condon
PROJECT DIRECTOR
Pamela Rosenstein
COORDINATING PRODUCER
Laurie Cahalane
SENIOR SCIENCE EDITOR
Evan Hadingham
SENIOR PRODUCERS
Julia Cort
Chris Schmidt
SENIOR SERIES PRODUCER
Melanie Wallace
MANAGING DIRECTOR
Alan Ritsko
SENIOR EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
Paula S. Apsell

© 2013 BBC A BBC/NOVA Co-Production

All rights reserved

A NOVA Production by BBC for WGBH/Boston.

Additional Material © 2014 WGBH Educational Foundation

All rights reserved

This program was produced by WGBH, which is solely responsible for its content.

IMAGE

(Relief of Equites Singularis Augusti)
© BBC

Participants

Philippe Blanchard
National Institute of Preventive Archaeology, France
Dominique Castex
Nat Centre for Scientific Research, France
Raffaella Giuliani
Inspector of Catacombs in Rome
Delphine Henri
National Institute of Preventive Archaeology, France
Johannes Krause
Eberhard Karls University,Tübingen
Kevin Salesse
University of Bordeaux, France
Michael Scott
University of Warwick

Full program available for streaming through

Watch Online
Full program available
Soon