A columbarium is a place for the respectful and usually public storage of cinerary urns (i.e. urns holding a deceased’s cremated remains). The term comes from the Latin columba (dove) and originally referred to compartmentalized housing for doves and pigeons (see dovecote). The Columbarium of Pomponius Hylas is a particularly fine ancient Roman example, rich in frescoes, decorations and precious mosaics. Roman columbaria were built underground.