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Pompeii finds prominent middle life

ROME – An open chest. A wooden cupboard, its shelves raised inward. The table has three legs with decorative bowls on top. These latest discoveries by archaeologists are enriching the knowledge of middle-class life in Pompeii before the violent eruption of Mount Vesuvius buried the ancient Roman city in volcanic debris.

The Archaeological Park of Pompeii, one of Italy’s top tourist attractions, announced the recent finds on Saturday. Its director, Gabriel Zuchtriegel, said the excavation of rooms in a “mansion”, or house, first excavated in 2018 has revealed precious details about the living environment of the house. ordinary citizens of the city, which was destroyed in AD 79.

In previous decades, excavation has largely focused on the lavish, ornate, frescoed villas of the upper-class inhabitants of Pompeii. But archaeological activity at the vast site, near present-day Naples, has increasingly focused on the lives of the middle class as well as that of servants and other enslaved people.

Zuchtriegel says: “In the Roman empire, there were a lot of people struggling with their social status and “daily bread” was just a given. “A class that is vulnerable to political crises and food shortages, but also ambitious to climb the social ladder.”

The finds announced Saturday include furniture and household items in the mansion, which has been dubbed Larario’s House for an area of ​​the home for domestic spirits known as lares. The house excavated in 2018 has a courtyard house.

Zuchtriegel notes that while the courtyard also features a specially decorated cistern, “it was clear that the (financial) resources were not sufficient to decorate the five rooms in the house.” One room had unpainted walls and an earthen floor that appeared to be used for storage.

In one bedroom, archaeologists found the remains of a bed frame with traces of fabric from the pillow. The identical type of bed to three crib-like beds was unearthed last year in a small room in another mansion that archaeologists believe doubled as storage and sleeping quarters for a single family. slaves in Pompeii.

The bedroom finds published Saturday also include the remains of a wooden trunk with an open top. Although the weight of the beams and ceiling slabs that fell from the volcanic explosion severely damaged the trunk, among the objects found inside was an oil lamp decorated with a relief. depicts the ancient Greek god Zeus being turned into an eagle. Nearby was a small round, three-legged table, similar to the accent tables in vogue today.

Revealing the storage room reveals a wooden wardrobe, the back of which is still intact but the shelves hang inward. Archaeologists believe the cabinets had at least four doors and housed cookware and dishes for the nearby kitchen. The excavator found a hinge from the enclosure.

Other items found in the house include a large fragment of a translucent saucer, rimmed with vibrant cobalt blue and emerald, and a well-preserved incense burner, shaped like it like a crib.

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