Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
Dello Russo
International Catacomb Society
Website URL
Late Antiquity, Italy, Rome, Funerary Archaeology, Topography, Classical Reception, Material Culture, History of Christianity (Roman Catholicism), Archives, Archives Management, Public History, Boston, Pedagogy (history)
Additional Contact Information

Personal Info

About Me

Jessica Dello Russo became executive director of the International Catacomb Society in 2015. Among the projects she has created and curated for the ICS are its DAPICS image archive, the BiblioSelect indices of studies of the Ancient Mediterranean, the “Luminaria” blog, and the on-going digitization of ICS founder Estelle Shohet Brettman’s rich archive of manuscripts, letters, and notes. Jessica is also a doctoral candidate at the Vatican’s Institute for Christian Archaeology in Rome as a specialist on Roman topography, funerary archaeology, and history of antiquarianism and archaeology from the Middle Ages to the present. Among her archaeological and archival discoveries are pieces of the so-called “Sarcophagus of the Menorah” from the Jewish Catacombs of Vigna Randanini, the Jewish catacomb of Vigna Cimarra, long believed inaccessible, and the unpublished documentation of the original excavations of Jewish catacombs in Rome from the mid-19th century to the early 20th century, some of which the International Catacomb Society has published in its “Roma Subterranea Judaica” series. Dello Russo’s doctoral thesis, “The Doubtful Catacombs: Jewish Shadows of Subterranean Christian Rome”, confronts long-standing issues of Jewish tomb location, layout, and style in Ancient Rome.

Recent Publications

Estelle Shohet Brettman, Vaults of Memory: The Roman Jewish Catacombs and their Context in the Ancient Mediterranean World, rev. ed. Amy K. Hirschfeld, Florence Wolsky, & Jessica Dello Russo. Boston: International Catacomb Society, 2017.

Media Coverage
Country Focus
Expertise by Geography
Mediterranean, United States, Western Europe
Expertise by Chronology
Ancient, Medieval
Expertise by Topic
Art & Architectural History, Libraries & Archives, Material Culture, Pedagogy, Public History, Religion