Found in the ashes from Vesuvius was an ancient Pompeii snack bar that served the same purpose as our modern-day, but in these ancient times, it was a wholly Roman affair. It was called the Thermopolium, which served the poorer segments of Pompeiian society that would be far different from the menu of aristocrats during that period.
Finding the remains of an archaic fast-food shop was a surprise for archeologists working on the dig. Seeing the Thermopolium is an eye-opener for the scientist deciphering life in 79 A.D. when the city was forever preserved in time.
This archaic snack bar had frescos decoration on its old walls when it was seen for the first time in 2020. Archaeologists found it in Regio V, in the northeast part of the Roman city spanning 54 hectares.
Ancient Snack Bar 'Thermopolium' Discovered by Archaeologists in Pompeii
Most scholars believed that the Thermopolium was where the less affluent would be going for food at its height. Speculating a diverse menu of duck, escargot, or paella are some of the choices for the locals, reported the Daily Mail. It might be for the lack of a kitchen in lesser Pompeiian's homes that going to these old eateries was the only option.
When Vesuvius erupted, the ancient city and people were covered by volcanic material that smothered and killed them. Several thousand years later, preserving human outlines and keep buildings intact.
According to Massimo Osanna, the ex-Pompeii Archaeological Park chief, we now know the last meals of the locals when they died, during the unearthing of the ancient Pompeii snack bar that was done carefully not to destroy it, noted U.S. Today.
What they found in Thermopolium
Archeologists took away the ancient ash to see a serving counter and several sides, with wide holes to place cooking pots for food.
They most resembled the modern items used today in most buffet and salad bars. They found the remains of duck bones, fish, goats, pigs, and snails in the pots.
The Thermopolium of #RegioV, a bar in #Pompeii, complete with an image of a Nereid riding a sea-horse, had previously been partially excavated in 2019. It now emerges in its entirety, with rich decorative still life frescoes, food residues, animal bones & victims of the eruption. pic.twitter.com/OEqh2sbAmm— Pompeii Sites (@pompeii_sites) December 26, 2020
Storage jars were found that were tall and ceramic to store food and drink in ancient times. Other items are flasks, bronze ladles, and ceramic oil holders. Another jug had remains of fava beans that were used to improve the wine and its colour too.
Visitors to the ancient Thermopolium saw it covered with lively décor, fancy mosaic floors, and inner walls decked with colourful frescos covering a zig-zag-shaped counter.
More of these designs had sea nymph on a horse in waves, but another part had images of the menu, like a duck, rooster as part of the food offering.
One explanation by Valeria Amoretti, a Pompeii staff anthropologist, said the painting was related to food and beverages sold by the establishment. An exception would be a painting of a dog on a leash. A few others were found in the Thermopolium that is not common, cited Grantshala.
According to Amoretti, frescos of big dogs and small dogs show the Pompeiians were breeding dogs in those times to get the right breed. Human remnants were discovered there, a man lying on a bed when the volcano killed him.
There is an indication someone got there in the 17th century with signs someone was looking for valuables. Like today's eateries, the ancient Pompeii snack bar was where patrons could get their cravings when hungry.