The longtime chief of the Pompeii Archaeological Park, Massimo Osanna, revealed on Saturday that a full thermopolium—an ancient fast-food stand—has been completely unearthed. Per Fox News, a portion of the thermopolium was discovered when work was being done to secure some of Pompeii's ruins. Since then, archeologists discovered a multi-sided counter, with holes inserted into its top to hold and serve hot food.
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
The counter has a picture of an undersea nymph on a horse. Archeologists believe there were images of two upside-down mallards on the counter that were probably used to advertise the menu. Valeria Amoretti, a Pompeii staff anthropologist, confirmed that an initial analysis proved that food was sold at the counter and duck bone fragments were found in one of the stands along with remains from goats, pigs, fish, and snails.
Osanna also confirmed that pieces of close to 80 different thermopolium were found at Pompeii, giving archeologists an idea of what the residents were eating leading up to the tragic volcano eruption. Also, a small dog's skeleton whose height at shoulder level was about 8 to 10 inches was found. Per Amoretti, finding this is proof that the Romans were breeding dogs as pets or other purposes since it would take "selective breeding in the Roman epoch to obtain this result."
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