Curiosity doesn’t always kill the cat: sometimes, it can lead to an amazing discovery.
On the evening of Oct. 16, two Roman residents were following a kitty near his apartment in a residential area near the city’s Via di Pietralata, when the animal disappeared into a crack in the face of a limestone cliff, the Guardian reported.
“The cat managed to get into a grotto and we followed the sound of its meowing,” one of the men, Mirko Curti, told the Guardian.
When the men entered the grotto, they noticed the rock walls contained holes that resembled the niches used by Romans to hold funeral urns. They also found what appeared to be human bones on the ground.
Archaeologists arrived at the tomb and estimated it to be 2,000 years old, according to the Guardian. They noted the bones had probably fallen from a different burial space higher in the cave, which they believe was revealed due to heavy rains earlier in the week that caused rocks hiding it to crumble.
Although Rome contains numerous underground cemeteries, including the 90-acre Catacombs of St. Callixtus located about 7 miles southwest of the newly uncovered tomb, Curti was still excited about the discovery. He told the Guardian finding the burial chamber was “the most incredible experience” of his life.