REGIONS

Unearthing history beneath St. Peter's Basilica

LIFE examines the history beneath St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican. For more photos, click here.

FoxNews.com

Tomb of the Caetennii

The tomb of the Caetennii (17 x 18 feet) was one of the richest and most lavishly decorated of all those excavated beneath St. Peter's.

Nat Farbman—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images

Basilico floor

Workmen examining underneath the floor of Basilico.

Nat Farbman—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images

Pope Pius' sarcophagus

Pope Pius XI, whose desire to be buried below St. Peter's nave led to the historic excavations, lies in his stone sarcophagus in renovated upper grottoes.

Nat Farbman—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images

St. Peter's interior

The interior of St. Peter's basilica, with markers indicating the location of the excavation beneath the floor, 1950.

Nat Farbman—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images

Unearthing history beneath St. Peter's Basilica

LIFE examines the history beneath St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican. For more photos, click here.

More From Our Sponsors