The Tomb of the Vestal Virgin named Cossinia was discovered along the banks of the Aniene River in Tivoli in 1929. The tomb is part of a larger Roman cemetery.
Tomba della Vestale Cossinia Tivoli
Address: Viale Giuseppe Mazzini, 00019 – Tivoli.
History and description
The Tomb of Cossinia dates back to the 2nd or 3rd century A.D. The reason it was not visible before 1929, is that it was buried underneath the earth due to landslides.
The tomb consists of two separate parts. Both are rectangular and ascend in steps. The larger one has five steps, the smaller one three. The remains of the Vestal Virgin were located under the smaller one of the two, together with a doll and an amber casket. The doll is now on display at the Palazzo Massimo alle Terme in Rome.
Vestal Virgins were priestesses in the service of the Goddess Vesta. Their job was to keep the Goddess’ sacred fire burning. There were six Vestal Virgins, all of whom had to fulfill their duties for 30 years. If the flame went out due to negligence, they were flogged. If they lost their virginity during those 30 years, they were buried alive.