Traces of nearly 2,000-year-old street food were found in some of the deep terra cotta jars at the site in Pompeii, Italy. The Italian city was buried in a volcanic eruption in 79AD and parts of it still have not been unearthed.
Archaeologists in Pompeii discovered a hot food and drinks shop that is equivalent to ancient street food for Romans passersby. Known as a termopolium, (Latin for hot drinks counter), the shop was discovered in the archaeological park’s Regio V site.
The site isn’t open to the public yet. But it has been noted that the discovery is quite interesting and provides some valuable insight. The deep terra cotta jars containing hot food would be lowered into a counter. The counter has circular holes that help the food to be kept warm.
The traces of food that were found included duck bone fragments and remains of goats, pigs, fish, and snails.
The front of the counter was decorated with frescoes, some painted with animals that were ingredients in the food, such as chicken and ducks. (Makes sense with what was found!)
“Our preliminary analyses show that the figures drawn on the front of the counter, represent, at least in part, the food and drink that were sold there,” said Valeria Amoretti, a site anthropologist.
Amoretti called this discovery a “testimony to the great variety of animal products used to prepare dishes.“
Massimo Ossana, director of the Pompeii archaeological park, said the find was “extraordinary”.
“Some 80 fast-food sites have been found at Pompeii but this is the first time an eatery has been entirely excavated.”
Archaeologists also found a decorated bronze drinking bowl known as a patera, ceramic jars used for cooking stews and soups, wine flasks and amphora.
About two-thirds of the ancient town has been uncovered. The ruins were not discovered until the 16th century and the excavations began about 1750.
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Image credits: Reuters