New Pompeii highlights middle-class life in the doomed city

ROME (AP) — Trunk with the lid open. Wooden cupboard with recessed shelves. A three-legged accent table topped with a decorative bowl. These latest discoveries by archaeologists enrich our knowledge of the life of Pompeii’s middle class before the violent eruption of Mount Vesuvius buried the ancient Roman city in volcanic debris.

Pompeii’s archaeological park, one of Italy’s top tourist attractions, unveiled its latest find on Saturday. Its director, Gabriel Zuktriegel, said excavations of the first “domus,” or house room, unearthed in 2018 revealed valuable details about the home environment of civilians in the destroyed city in 79 AD. Said it happened.

In the last few decades, excavations have largely focused on the lavish and elaborately frescoed villas of Pompeii’s upper class inhabitants. But archaeological activity in the vast ruins near modern Naples is increasingly focused not only on the lives of servants and enslaved people, but also on the life of the middle class.

“In the Roman Empire there was a sizeable part of the population suffering from social status, and for them ‘daily bread’ was not taken for granted. ‘Although a vulnerable class between political crises and food shortages.’ , ambitious to climb the social ladder.”

The finds, announced Saturday, include Domus furniture and household items. This was called the Lalario House for an area of ​​houses devoted to home spirits known as Lares. The house unearthed in 2018 is located in the courtyard.

Zuchtriegel pointed out that the courtyard also had a very well-decorated cistern, but that “(financial) resources did not seem to be sufficient to decorate the five rooms of the house.” Storage.

In the bedroom, archaeologists found the remains of a bed frame with traces of pillow cloth. The type of bed is three crib-like beds excavated last year in a small room in another dwelling that archaeologists believe doubled as storage and sleeping quarters for the families of Pompeii’s slave inhabitants. is the same as

The bedroom findings, released Saturday, also included the remains of an open wooden trunk. The volcanic eruption severely damaged the trunk under the weight of the beams and ceiling panels that collapsed, but inside is an oil lamp decorated with a bas-relief depicting the ancient Greek god Zeus transforming into an eagle. was. Nearby was a small three-legged round table, similar to today’s fashionable accent tables.

When I opened the storeroom, I found a wooden closet with a dented shelf, although the backboard was intact. Archaeologists believe the closet had at least four panel doors and contained utensils and dishes for the nearby kitchen. Excavators found hinges from the enclosure.

Other objects found in the house include a large fragment of what was once a translucent, rimmed plate in vibrant shades of cobalt blue and emerald, and a well-preserved censer shaped like a cradle. .