A snack bar as a testimony to a city before it went down in the volcanic inferno
Fascinating find at the site of a volcanic catastrophe: in Pompeii, 2000 years after the city’s fall, archaeologists discovered an exceptionally well-preserved antique street restaurant with colorful frescoes.
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AIn Pompeii, Italy, archaeologists have unearthed an intact counter in an ancient snack bar from the time the city fell. The “snack bar”, as the museum called it, was one of the oldest in Pompeii, announced the Parco Archeologico.
“The opportunities to study this thermopoly are extraordinary because this is the first time an area of this type has been excavated in its entirety,” said a representative from the museum. A Thermopolium is a Roman restaurant.
Parts of the counter had already been excavated in 2019. During the work, the experts also found leftovers and bones from humans and animals that were victims of the volcanic disaster on the Gulf of Naples in ancient times. According to initial findings, the human remains are those of a person who was around 50 years old at the time and who was probably lying on a kind of bed at the time of the disaster. Other remains are still being investigated.
The head of the excavation, Massimo Osanna, said: “The place appears to have been hastily closed and abandoned by its owners. Possibly one of the men, perhaps the oldest, died during the first phase of the eruption when the attic collapsed. ”According to Osanna’s words, the researchers also found the remains of a man who was apparently killed by hot steam when he pulled the lid off one who held pots – possibly a thief or a hungry resident on the run from the volcanic eruption.
The yellow painted counter is decorated with images of animals, depicting an everyday situation and the image of a nereid, a nymph of the sea, on a seahorse. The ducks and a rooster depicted were probably animals that were slaughtered and sold in the shop. There are also holes in the stone table where the researchers assume that the food for sale was displayed there.
Even a prankster seemed to have tampered with the counter of his time. “Nicias shameless shit” (literally translated from Latin / see photo with the dog portrait) is scratched over one of the paintings. Nicias, for example, could have been the shop owner.
Pompeii was sunk in the eruptions of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. Ash, mud and lava buried the settlements. The historic city was rediscovered in the 18th century. Since then, new findings have come to light again and again. The archaeological site is one of the most popular attractions in Italy. Most recently, the archaeologists succeeded in reconstructing two men who were probably surprised by the eruption.