One of the things about living in your older cities is that the older the city, the greater the likelihood that one day someone's going to stumble across something old and forgotten. Every place has at least some history to it- your smaller towns tend to hang on to whatever they get because they tend not to get much of it- but as a rule, the older the town, the more history there is to stumble upon. A town that sprung up in the California Gold Rush, for example, might have a little something to it, but nothing compared to, for example, Rome.
As was put on display this past Tuesday, with the help of a stray cat. Two men, one named Mirko Curti and the other going unnamed, spotted the cat at about 10 PM near Mirko's apartment, and gave chase. The cat ran into a cave, recently unearthed due to rain washing away some of the rock covering, and started meowing. The two men followed the meowing and soon found themselves alongside ancient human remains, alongside carvings in the rock used to hold urns.
The kitty found some catacombs. It's estimated they date somewhere between the 1st century BC and 2nd century AD. (If you've been paying attention, you might notice that I've been fairly inconsistent over the life of this blog as to whether I'm going BC/AD or BCE/CE. It only looks like I'm being inconsistent. Those are notes. I always accompany my ancient history with haphazardly-written fanfare. Doesn't everyone?)
The Guardian article linked tells that catacombs litter Rome. They know they haven't found them all, and when one pops up, it's something the locals just have to work around and to a degree have become somewhat blase to. It's an unusual variant on road construction. The archaeologists, once they find one, have to work fast, because the same soft rock that can be washed away to expose the catacombs can also be washed away from the catacombs themselves.
On the plus side, kitty could use a bath.