Extremely Preserved Quick Meals Stall Reveals What Romans Snacked on in Pompeii

A 2,000-year-old fast-food stall unearthed from the ash of Pompeii has given researchers new clues in regards to the snacking habits of the traditional Romans. 

The ornate snack bar counter, adorned with polychrome patterns and frozen by volcanic ash, was partially exhumed final 12 months however archaeologists prolonged work on the positioning to disclose it in its full glory.


Pompeii was buried in a sea of boiling lava when the volcano on close by Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD, killing between 2,000 and 15,000 folks.

Archaeologists proceed to make discoveries there.

The thermopolium – from the Greek “thermos” for decent and “poleo” to promote – at what was a busy intersection of Silver Wedding ceremony Avenue and Alley of Balconies, was the Roman period equal of a fast-food snack stall.

(Luigi Spina/AFP Picture/Pompeii Press Workplace)

The group discovered duck bone fragments in addition to the stays of pigs, goats, fish and snails in earthenware pots. A few of the substances had been cooked collectively like a Roman period paella.

Crushed fava beans, used to change the style of wine, have been discovered on the backside of 1 jar.

The counter seems to have been closed in a rush and deserted by its house owners – maybe as the primary rumblings of the eruption have been felt – Massimo Osanna, director common on the Archaeological Park of Pompeii, informed Ansa information company.

Witness to antiquity

Amphorae, a water tower and a fountain have been discovered alongside human stays, together with these of a person believed to have been aged round 50 and found close to a baby’s mattress.

“It’s potential that somebody, maybe the oldest man, stayed behind and perished through the first part of the eruption,” Osanna informed Ansa information company.


The stays of one other individual have been additionally discovered and may very well be an opportunist thief or somebody fleeing the eruption who was “shocked by the burning vapours simply as he had his hand on the lid of the pot that he had simply opened”, added Osanna.

Within the newest stage of their work, archaeologists uncovered numerous nonetheless life scenes, together with depictions of animals believed to have been on the menu, notably mallard geese and a rooster, for serving up with wine or sizzling drinks.

Pompeii thermopolium fresco

(Luigi Spina/AFP Picture/Pompeii Press Workplace)

Beforehand unearthed was a fresco bearing a picture of a Nereid nymph driving a seahorse and gladiators in fight.

“In addition to bearing witness to day by day life in Pompeii, the chances to analyse afforded by this thermopolium are distinctive as a result of for the primary time now we have excavated a website in its entirety,” mentioned Massimo Osanna, director common on the Archaeological Park of Pompeii.

The thermopolium was highly regarded within the Roman world. Pompeii alone had round 80.

The large website that spreads over 44 hectares (110 acres) is what stays of one of many richest cities within the Roman empire. Layers of ash buried many buildings and objects in a virtually pristine state, together with curled-up corpses of victims.

Pompeii is Italy’s second most visited website after the Colisseum in Rome and final 12 months attracted round 4 million vacationers. 

© Agence France-Presse


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