Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa Facts

Are you doing a class project on Egyptian archaeology?

Has your teacher asked you to find out about the Seven Wonders of the Middle Ages?

Or maybe you just love anything to do with graveyards and mummies…

Well, it doesn’t matter why you’re here.

hat matters are that you’re going to leave here with 10 facts about the Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa in your pocket.

So here we go…

Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa Facts for Kids

  • The Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa are listed as one of the Seven Wonders of the Middle Ages. The Middle Ages ran from the 5th century until the 15th century.
  • They are in Alexandria, in Egypt. During the Hellenistic period (after the death of Alexander the Great), Alexandria had a lighthouse that was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. It also had a great library. Today, it is the second-largest city in Egypt.
  • The Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa are also sometimes called a necropolis, which means city of the dead. Three sarcophagi (coffins for mummies) have been found inside.
  • The catacombs were started in the 2nd century and still exist today, which is pretty amazing!
  • The name Kom El Shoqafa means Mound of Shards. This is because the area used to be full of broken bits, or shards, of pottery. They were left by visitors to the tombs, who would bring food and wine for their visit. When the catacombs were discovered, mounds of these broken plates were found.
  • The catacombs lie underground, cut deep into solid rock. There is a banquet hall, where visitors could eat and drink with the dead. The second level has lots of sculptures and three huge stone coffins. The third level is now completely underwater.
  • The catacombs were discovered in 1900 when a donkey accidentally fell into the shaft that led to the buried site.
  • There is a hallway in the catacombs that leads to room called the Hall of Caracalla. This room was not originally a tomb, but many human and horse bones were found in it. It is thought to be a mass burial chamber for the Alexandrian citizens killed by Roman Emperor Caracalla.
  • The Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa are an example of the mix of cultures that were in Alexandria at the time. Archaeologists have found objects that are Greek, Roman and Egyptian in style.
  • Today, the catacombs can be explored by the general public, who enter the tombs via a spiral staircase, where bodies were once lowered in by ropes to the chambers below.


Question: In what century were the catacombs built?
Answer: 2nd

Question: What does the name Kom el Shoqafa mean in English?
Answer: Mound of Shards.

Question: Who discovered the catacombs in 1900?
Answer: A donkey!

Question: How many sarcophagi have been found inside?
Answer: Three.

Question: Which Roman Emperor has a hall in the dead city named after him?
Answer: Caracalla.