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(Greek: city of the dead) Extensive and elaborate burial place serving an ancient city. The locations of these cemeteries varied. Many in Egypt, such as the necropolis of western Thebes, were situated across the Nile River opposite the cities. In Greece and Rome a necropolis often lined the roads leading out of town. A necropolis was discovered in the 1940s under St. Peter's Basilica in Rome.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on necropolis, visit Britannica.com.