Archaeologists who uncovered ancient Rome’s lost city of Pompeii made a remarkable discovery at the “Regio V” dig site: A mostly intact thermopolium, or what is actually a street food stand. Which is complete with elaborate frescos, graffiti scrawls, traces of ancient food, and human remains.
It is a brilliant find. Archaeological findings don’t often show with as much vibrant color and detail as you see here, and the fact that most of the stand remains intact makes the discovery more exciting.
“As well as being another insight into the daily life at Pompeii, the possibilities for study of this Thermopolium are exceptional, because for the first time an area of this type has been excavated in its entirety, and it has been possible to carry out all the analyses that today’s technology permits.”
That’s Massimo Osanna, interim director generation of the Archaeological Park of Pompeii, in a statement shared on the Pompeii Sites website that follows ongoing attempts to investigate the ancient city. Osanna added that further investigation of food vessels found with the stand “is expected to yield exceptional data for informing an understanding of what was sold and what the diet was like.”
The ancient city of Pompeii was completely destroyed following the eruption of the Mount Vesuvius volcano in roughly 79 AD. The city was totally buried beneath 10 to 20 feet of volcanic ash and pumice. There was a bad movie about it in 2014, which you can see if you want to learn about the city.
In this glimpse behind the counter, we see an archaeologist at work looking into one of the holes where hot food was likely kept inside and cook. The unearthing of the food stand also covered the discovery of various containers that were likely used to store food and drinks.
Regio V is an important site for archaeological research in the remains of Pompeii.