A richly frescoed thermopolium, the Roman variation of a street food stand, has actually been completely excavated and will open to the general public beginning Easter 2021. The cafeteria-style facility is extremely undamaged, from frescoes painted on the front of an L-shaped counter to the earthenware pots still consisting of the remains of the sandwich shop’s last meals. Individuals ate in restaurants a lot in Pompeii. Eighty thermopolia have actually been discovered there, however this is the very first one to be excavated in its whole.
It was very first found throughout stabilization work at the corner of the Street of the Balconies and the Street of the Silver Wedding Event in the Regio V neighborhood in 2019. The counter fresco of a nereid riding a sea horse was the very first to emerge. A fresco on the much shorter side of the counter illustrated a counter with amphorae raiding it and covered pots on top. Real amphorae were found in front of the counter, matching the painted image which was likely a business indication of sorts.
The quality and conservation of the frescoed counter was so remarkable that archaeologists returned this year to excavate the website completely and expose the total environment. This year’s stage of the dig discovered another arm of the counter which was likewise embellished with frescoes. There were 2 panels framed in a black border: one large one with 2 departed ducks hanging upside down and a rooster versus an architectural background, and the 2nd with a black pet dog on a leash.
The ducks and chicken represent the items used at the snack bar. The pet dog fresco has a profane graffito engraved into the black border. It checks out “Nicia cineadecacator,” an insult to one Nicia (most likely a freedman of Greek origin) calling him a shitter and an “invert”. Possibly Nicia was the owner of the facility?
Bone pieces inside the vessels embedded into the counter tops supply proof of the expense of fare at the dining establishment, consisting of a blended pork, goat, bird, fish and snail meal along the lines of a paella. A duck bone verifies that the mallard fresco was a menu product. Among the dolia consisted of red wine residue and the remains of ground fava beans. The first century Roman cookbook Apicius’ De Re Coquinaria instructs that that bean meal and eggs whites must be contributed to “clarify muddy red wine.” Long, energetic stirring with a whip and an over night soak obviously changed the taste and lightened the color of doubtful vintages.
The skeletons of 2 people caught and eliminated in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, were found on the facilities. The bones were jumbled, disrupted by looter tunnels dug in the 17th century. One set came from an adult about 50 years of age who was resting on a bed or cot when the pyroclastic circulation struck him. The nails and wood pieces from his bed were discovered under his remains. The bones of a 2nd person were discovered inside a big dolium (storage vessel) and might have been stowed away there by the looters.
A total pet dog skeleton was discovered in the northwestern corner of the space in between 2 doors. It was the strong lupine guardian in the fresco, however a small canine buddy no greater than 10 inches high. This was an adult animal and is not of a recognized regional type. It was likely a imported toy type.
Inside the thermopolium were an overall of 9 amphorae, one bronze patera, 2 flasks and a tabletop ceramic olla (cooking pot). The flooring of the area was a layer of cocciopesto (water resistant floor covering made from terracotta pieces) with ingrained pieces of polychrome marble.
The analysis of the remains– human, animal, cooking– is continuous. A multi-disciplinary group of archaeozoologists, archaeobotanists, geologists and vulcanologists will study the product that has actually been recuperated.