Incredibly Preserved Fast Food Stall Reveals What Romans Snacked on in Pompeii

Cortez Deacetis

A 2,000-calendar year-aged rapid-foodstuff stall unearthed from the ash of Pompeii has presented researchers new clues about the snacking habits of the ancient Romans. 

The ornate snack bar counter, decorated with polychrome styles and frozen by volcanic ash, was partly exhumed previous calendar year but archaeologists extended work on the web-site to expose it in its full glory.


Pompeii was buried in a sea of boiling lava when the volcano on nearby Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 Advert, killing in between 2,000 and 15,000 persons.

Archaeologists keep on to make discoveries there.

The thermopolium – from the Greek “thermos” for sizzling and “poleo” to market – at what was a active intersection of Silver Marriage ceremony Avenue and Alley of Balconies, was the Roman era equal of a speedy-food snack stall.

Pompeii thermopolium(Luigi Spina/AFP Photo/Pompeii Push Office)

The staff observed duck bone fragments as properly as the stays of pigs, goats, fish and snails in earthenware pots. Some of the ingredients experienced been cooked collectively like a Roman period paella.

Crushed fava beans, made use of to modify the style of wine, were being located at the base of just one jar.

The counter seems to have been closed in a hurry and abandoned by its owners – most likely as the initially rumblings of the eruption were felt – Massimo Osanna, director normal at the Archaeological Park of Pompeii, explained to Ansa news company.

Witness to antiquity

Amphorae, a h2o tower and a fountain have been uncovered together with human continues to be, which include those of a male considered to have been aged all around 50 and found in close proximity to a kid’s bed.

“It is achievable that anyone, probably the oldest guy, stayed driving and perished during the to start with period of the eruption,” Osanna instructed Ansa news agency.


The remains of another particular person ended up also uncovered and could be an opportunist thief or another person fleeing the eruption who was “surprised by the burning vapours just as he experienced his hand on the lid of the pot that he experienced just opened”, extra Osanna.

In the latest phase of their perform, archaeologists uncovered a amount of nonetheless existence scenes, which include depictions of animals thought to have been on the menu, notably mallard ducks and a rooster, for serving up with wine or incredibly hot drinks.

Pompeii thermopolium fresco(Luigi Spina/AFP Picture/Pompeii Press Workplace)

Beforehand unearthed was a fresco bearing an impression of a Nereid nymph driving a seahorse and gladiators in combat.

“As nicely as bearing witness to day by day lifetime in Pompeii, the alternatives to analyse afforded by this thermopolium are outstanding for the reason that for the first time we have excavated a web site in its entirety,” explained Massimo Osanna, director basic at the Archaeological Park of Pompeii.

The thermopolium was incredibly well-known in the Roman globe. Pompeii by itself experienced about 80.

The massive internet site that spreads in excess of 44 hectares (110 acres) is what remains of one of the richest cities in the Roman empire. Layers of ash buried lots of properties and objects in a just about pristine point out, like curled-up corpses of victims.

Pompeii is Italy’s 2nd most frequented web site after the Colisseum in Rome and last year attracted all around four million vacationers. 

© Agence France-Presse


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