Location of Tomb M

Necropolis (Scavi) Tomb M
Tomb of Cristo-Sole

Square & Area

Tourist Info

Vatican City

Colonnade Saints
Floorplan #2

Scavi - Main
Scavi Map

Books on the Scavi
Tips and FAQ's

Related Items
Tomb of St Peter by M. Guarducci

The Bones of St Peter by John E Walsh

Related Links
Scavi Office


Tomb M North Wall
Lunette of the Fisherman

Tomb M East Wall
Lunette with the
Scene of Jonah

From: 'Guide to the Vatican Necropolis' by Michele Basso, Fabbrica di S. Pietro

Tomb of Cristo-Sole (Tomb M)

The tomb of "Cristo Sole", that is Christ the Sun, was discovered in 1574, during some excavations beneath the Basilica. According to Tiberio Alfarano, who meticulously copied the epitaph which has since been lost, the tomb was built by the parents of the deceased, Julius Tarpeianus.

The pagan origin of the tomb is obvious because of the presence of a cinerarium, although the three frescoes on the ceiling and walls, which were decorated in polychrome mosaics, are undoubtedly Christian.

Christ is depicted on the vault in a chariot drawn by white horses. The Good Shepherd was originally depicted on one of the wall; the outline of a fisherman and a biblical scene including Jonah appear on other walls.

Both vault and walls are decorated with grape vines.





P. Zander. The Vatican Necropolis, in "Roma Sacra", 25, Roma 2003
Margherita Guarducci, The Tomb of St Peter, Hawthorn Books, 1960
John Evangelist Walsh, The Bones of St Peter, New York, 1982
J. Toynbee - J.W. Perkins. The Shrine of St Peter and the Vatican Excavations, London 1956
Michele Basso. Guide to the Vatican Necropolis, Fabbrica di S. Pietro in Vaticano, 1986


The contents of this site are for personal-educational use only. Neither text nor images may be reproduced in any form without the permission of the respective copyright holders.
This independent website is not endorsed by or associated with the Vatican, the Fabbrica of St. Peter's, or any business organization

Contact: stpetersbasilica@gmail.com