Photography: Luigi Spina/Archeological Park of Pompeii

A Roman-era hot food stand, covered in vibrant frescos, has been excavated in Pompeii.

The thermopolium of Regio V, one of Pompeii’s snack bars, was discovered and partially exhumed by archaeologists in 2019 but re-emerged in its entirety last week. Its exhumation reveals new decorative still life paintings that offer insight into quotidian Roman gastronomy.

Perfectly preserved Pompeii snack bar reveals what the Roman ate
Photography: Luigi Spina/Archeological Park of Pompeii

The snack bar’s newly discovered frescoes depict characterful illustrations of animals, including mallard ducks and a rooster that were thought to have once been on the menu, as well as the shop itself. (An image of Nereid riding a seahorse was revealed previously). The stall sold hot food and beverages stored in jugs embedded in its countertop.

Regio V thermopolium is one of many fascinating finds at Pompeii – an ancient Roman city buried by volcanic ash after Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD. It is mostly in-tact and continues to be a rich source for archaeologists.

[h/t New York Times; the Guardian; Pompeii Online]

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