2000-year-old 'Fast Food' joint Unearthed in Italy's Pompeii opens for public
On August 12, a 200-year old fast food joint called a Thermopolium -which literally means “a place where (something) hot is sold”, that belonged to the ancient Roman city of Pompeii is opening for the public display. The archaeological site was unearthed in 2019 and contains remains that offer an insight into ancient Roman life. The archaeological park of Pompeii, where the exhibition is opening, is situated near the Bay of Naples in Southern Italy.
According to the Archaeological Park of Pompeii, such food joints – or Thermopolia -were a common sight in the Roman era where mostly middle and lower class people used to dine if they wanted to go out. The site of Regio V that is opening on Thursday is special because of its painted counter.
Among the relics that were found in the ancient snack bar were remnants of duck bones, goats, fish, pigs, and a floor made of polychrome marble. Archaeologists guess that one of the offered dishes was a type of paella, a Spanish dish similar to biryani. Many other such food joints were also discovered during the excavation of Pompeii. Two almost perfectly preserved bodies of men were also found during the excavation. The demise of the city was caused by a volcanic eruption, ash from which was found during the archaeological operation. The walls of the food place are painted with various illustrations including one of a sea nymph riding a horse through waves. The pictures include a chicken and upside-down ducks hinting at the menu of the shop.
“Initial analyses confirm how the painted images represent, at least in part, the foods and beverages effectively sold inside,” Valeria Amoretti, an anthropologist working on the project told Associated Press.
Other than the Thermopolium, the House of Orion -a dwelling with elegant iconography depicting the catasterism of the hero Orion — and House of the Garden – a garden with a portico painted in fresco – will also feature in the exhibition.