Tomb of the Egyptians (Tomb Z)
is called the Egyptian tomb becaue of the picture
of Horus, an Egyptian god of the dead, which is painted
in the center of the north wall of the tomb.
'Guide to the Vatican Necropolis' by Michele Basso,
© Fabbrica di S. Pietro
The roof of the mausoleum is missing because it protruded
above the floor of the Constantine Basilica; the facade
was also demolished by Constantine to erect one of
the three retaining walls needed to support the fourth
century Basilica. The facade was directly in line
with the foundation wall of the Basilica, beneath
the columns which separated the central nave from
the first nave to the south.
sarcohagi and four arcosolia (a niche for interment
surmounted by an arch) were found in the tomb of reddish
plaster. There is also evidence of probable cremations.
left sarcophagus on the north wall has a mythological
scene in which we see Dionysius in a chariot driven
by a centaur; he is accompanied by fauns, baccchants
and corybants; Arianna is asleep in the depths of
a forest. The fron of the cover, depicting an aerial
dance of maenads, seems to crown the bacchanal scene
of the sarcophagus.