Pompeii was buried in a sea of boiling lava when the volcano on nearby Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD, killing between 2,000 and 15,000 people. Archaeologists continue to make discoveries there. The latest in the list is the fast food stall.
The ornate snack bar counter unearthed from the ash of Pompeii has given researchers new clues about the snacking habits of the ancient Romans. The stall decorated with polychrome patterns and frozen by volcanic ash, was partially exhumed last year but archaeologists.
The team found duck bone fragments as well as the remains of pigs, goats, fish and snails in earthenware pots. Some of the ingredients had been cooked together like a Roman era paella. Crushed fava beans, used to modify the taste of wine, were found at the bottom of one jar.
The counter appears to have been closed in a hurry and abandoned by its owners – perhaps as the first rumblings of the eruption were felt.
In the latest stage of their work, archaeologists uncovered a number of still life scenes, including depictions of animals believed to have been on the menu, notably mallard ducks and a rooster, for serving up with wine or hot beverages.
The massive site that spreads over 44 hectares (110 acres) is what remains of one of the richest cities in the Roman empire. Layers of ash buried many buildings and objects in a nearly pristine state, including curled-up corpses of victims. It is Italy’s second most visited site after the Colosseum in Rome.
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