Archaeologists have unearthed a frescoed thermopolium (a hot-food-drink shop) in Pompeii, an ancient Roman city frozen in time after the catastrophic eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 CE.
The 2,000-year-old thermopolium in the Pompeii archeological park, near Naples, Italy. Image credit: Parco Archeologico di Pompei.
“Thermopolia, where drinks and hot foods were served and stored in large dolia (jars) embedded in the masonry counter, were widespread in the Roman world, where it was typical to consume the prandium (the meal) outside the house. In Pompeii alone there are 80 thermopolia,” Dr. Massimo Osanna, interim director general of the Parco Archeologico di Pompei, and colleagues said in a statement.
“As well as being another insight into daily life at Pompeii, the possibilities for study of the newly-discovered thermopolium are exceptional, because for the first time an area of this type has been excavated in its entirety, and it has been possible to carry out all the analyses that today’s technology permits.”
The counter had deep terracotta jars for hot food and its front was decorated with a number of exquisite frescoes, depicting a nymph astride a horse, two ducks, a rooster, and a dog on a leash.
“The decorations on the counter comprise the image of a Nereid riding a seahorse in a marine setting on the front, while the shorter side features an illustration which is probably of the shop itself, like a kind of trademark,” the archaeologists said.
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More to the article & there are movies! I've walked those streets & note the exit sign says "once you leave this area to go to the villa, we will not let you back in." You have to walk around and get to your car or pay again.
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