Researchers have unearthed a thermopolium, Latin for hot drinks counter, in the Roman empire town of Pompeii.
The snack food counter was found complete with decorative still-life frescoes, food residues, animals’ bones and victims who died during the volcanic eruption of 79 CE.
The find is significant because it shows the variety of food consumed by the residents of the town such as traces of pork, fish, snails and beef have been found in the containers of the stall.
It is also the first time an entire thermopolium has been excavated, complete with pateras, or bronze drinking bowls, ceramic jars used for cooking stews and soups, wine flasks and amphora, usually used for storing and transporting wine and olive oil.
Pompeii was a Roman town in Southern Italy’s Campania region situated along the Bay of Naples. The town was completely buried by volcanic ash after the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 CE, over 2000 years ago.
It is due to the tragedy that the town is well preserved and has given archaeologists vast materials to study daily Roman daily life, as it was centuries ago.
Located 8 km from the volcano, Pompeii was as a resort town frequented by Rome’s elite citizens and consisted of villas, cafes and marketplaces.
In 1748, King Charles III of Bourbon initiated scientific excavations at the site, after which large parts of the city have been unearthed, and several artefacts and other items of interest discovered.
Research into Pompeii and Herculaneum so far has revised scientists’ understanding of the town, the disaster and the sequence of events.
Further, the investigations of those who died have also revealed details of the town’s citizens and a revised interpretation of a rescue operation launched by the admiral of one of Rome’s navies, Pliny the Elder, stationed at the opposite side of the Bay of Naples.