A hypogeum or hypogaeum (plural hypogea or hypogaea, pronounced /hpɒɡə/; literally meaning "underground", from Greek hypo (under) and ghê (earth)[1]) is an underground temple or tomb.

The entrance of a tomb at the Theban Necropolis—TT 353. The entrance was built by the order of Sen-en-Mut, 97.36m long and 41.93m deep
3D laser scan profile of the Hypogeum of the Volumnus family
Tablinum inside Hypogeum of the Volumni, in the northern end of the crypt
3D image of Tablinum inside Hypogeum of the Volumni, cut from a laser scan
Entrance of the Three Brothers' hypogeum in Palmyra, Syria
Hypogeum of Yarhai, Damascus, Syria

Hypogea will often contain niches for cremated human remains or loculi for buried remains. Occasionally tombs of this type are referred to as built tombs.[2]

The term hypogeum can also refer to any antique building or part of building built below ground such as the series of tunnels under the Colosseum which held slaves (particularly enemy captives) and animals while keeping them ready to fight in the gladiatorial games. The animals and slaves could be let up through trapdoors under the sand-covered arena at any time during a fight.

Share this article:

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Hypogeum, and is written by contributors. Text is available under a CC BY-SA 4.0 International License; additional terms may apply. Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.