A former fast food restaurant in Pompeii that served roasted rodents with honey is now open to the public
Archaeologists studying the Roman city of Pompeii recently discovered a thermopolium– a kind of old fast food restaurant – and it is now open to the public.
Visitors will not be able to try the Roman specialties that would have been served at the original restaurant, as this is a company that believed that honey-roasted rodents raised in jars were a delicacy, but they will be able to see the The establishment’s colorful fresco paintings.
One piece of art apparently features ingredients that would have been prepared with thermopolium, such as a rooster, while another shows a scene from mythology, with a Nereid riding a seahorse. A third depicts a collared dog and graffiti from the Roman era which roughly translates to “Nicias Shameless Shitter”, presumably an insult to the owner, Nicias.
The discovery, in 2019, “led to a better understanding of the diet and daily life of Pompeiians,” Massimo Osanna, former head of the Pompeii archaeological park and now director general of Italian museums, said in a statement. declaration.
Experts believe prepared foods would have been on display dolia jars inserted into holes carved into the stone counter, much like today’s take-out restaurants.
Excavations unearthed bones of duck, pork, goat and fish, as well as snail shells among shards of earthenware pottery, suggesting that some sort of meat and seafood stew would have could be on the menu. Typical dishes served in a thermopolium would have included salted fish, baked cheese, lentils and spicy wine, depending on the Guardian. (One pot still smelled strongly of wine when archaeologists first discovered it.)
The gastronomic culture and culinary traditions of Pompeii are currently the subject of “Last Supper in Pompeii, an exhibition in San Francisco Legion of Honor Museum. The sudden destruction of the city with the eruption of Vesuvius in AD 79 instantly charred food and kitchen utensils, leaving a trace of everyday life frozen in time.
the thermopolium was a must-see in Pompeii – the newly discovered site is just one of 80 such restaurants that have been found in the city – because poor Roman families could not afford to have kitchens in their homes . And, in an inversion of contemporary society, the rich did not go out for expensive meals. Instead, they had feasts prepared by slave laborers at home, served in richly decorated banquet halls.
Archaeologists have discovered the thermopolium during excavations Region V, a section of Pompeii which is not yet fully open to the public and which houses most of the active excavations on the site since the 1960s. In addition to the restaurant, sections of the Casa di Orione and Casa del Giardino mansions also open to visitors this week.
Other recent finds from Regio V include the skeleton of a man believed to have been killed while fleeing the volcano and a selection of amulets that may have belonged to a witch. Human bones found in the new thermopolium suggest that the business owner may have died at the scene.
See more images of the thermopolium below.
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