The ancient city of Pompeii has been a gift for archaeologists lately. After the discovery of two preserved skeletons in the city last month, another fascinating discovery has been made – a food stall.
The street food stall, known as a thermopolium, is currently dated back to 79 C.E. It is among the 80 other thermopolia that have been recently unearthed at Pompeii, giving new insights into the eating habits of the residents of the ancient city. The thermopolium is decorated with painted images of animals like rooster, duck, nymph and even a dog on a leash. It has been suggested that these images served as a ‘menu’ of the food stall.
Inside the food stall, remains of many other organisms have been found. Researchers speculate them to animals like snails, fish, sheep etc. One vessel in the stall has been found to contain a kind of wine. A skeleton of a mouse was also found within the stall. Two more vessels are currently undergoing processing to determine what they contained, though researchers speculate it to contain some other varieties of meat.
The food stall was first partially unearthed in 2019, along with few jars and organic remains. The recent excavation unearthed its front side and the painted images of animals on it. The excavation was done under the supervision of the Archaeological Park of Pompeii. Massimo Osanna, director of the park, called the discovery the first of its kind.
The archaeological site in Pompeii has been closed to visitors since the COVID-19 pandemic struck in March this year. However, Osanna is hopeful to open the site by Easter next year if everything went well.