Go underground in Rome and explore the Columbarium of Pomponius Hylas! “But wait,” you ask. “What’s a columbarium?” Well, it was a burial site. But it was also an ancient business strategy that allowed people to bury (and be buried) cheaply. How? First, columbaria (the plural of columbarium) were underground. Just like today, underground real-estate was less useful and therefore less expensive. Second, people from the same family, multiple families, or burial clubs chipped in and bought these underground plots together. So, as a group they purchased and used spaces that they could not afford alone.
Therefore, drum roll: Pomponius Hylas is not the only person in Pomponius Hylas’s Columbarium! In fact, you probably guessed, if you read the white letter of the colorful ancient mosaic in the picture. It decorates the columbarium’s entrance and advertises the presence of Pomponius Hylas and his wife Vitalinis. And that’s just the beginning of the list of occupants!