Erich Lessing/Art Resource, NY

Although a number of columbaria have been found in ancient Rome, only four are well-preserved. The first-century A.D. Via Appia Antica columbarium once housed the ashes of non-elite Romans who couldn’t afford elaborate sepulchers. Subscribers would pay a fee to a funeral association to ensure that space within one of the niches would be reserved for the storage of their cinerary urns.