Pope Damasus himself displayed great zeal in adapting the catacombs to their new purpose, restoring the works of art on the walls, and renewing the epitaphs over the graves of the martyrs.
The palm branch, which is also of frequent occurrence, is not an indisputable mark of the last resting-place of a martyr, being found in connexion with epitaphs of persons dying natural deaths, or those prepared by persons in their lifetime, as well as in those of little children, and even of pagans.
Monumental epitaphs record the purchase of a grave from the fossores, in many cases during the lifetime of the individual, not unfrequently stating the price.
Epitaphs of members of the Flavian family have been found here, and others stating that they are put up " Ex Indulgentia Flaviae Domitillae Vespasiani Neptis."
The loculi were intact and the epitaphs still in their places, so that " they form a kind of museum, in which the development, the formulae, and the symbolic figures of Christian epigraphy, from its origin to the end of the 3rd or 4th century, can be notified and contemplated, not in artificial specimens as in the Lateran, but in the genuine and living reality of their original condition."