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In Ancient Pompeii, This Was a Conversation Starter

Newly uncovered frescoes in ancient banquet hall depict Trojan War characters

(Newser) - Archaeologists excavating new sites in Pompeii have uncovered a sumptuous banquet hall decorated with intricately frescoed mythological characters inspired by the Trojan War, officials said Thursday, per the AP . The hall, which features a mosaic floor, was uncovered as part of a project to shore up the areas dividing the...

New Find in Pompeii: a Bakery-Prison for Slaves
New Find in Pompeii:
a Bakery-Prison for Slaves

New Find in Pompeii: a Bakery-Prison for Slaves

Enslaved people ground grain in cramped room with barred windows, say experts

(Newser) - The discovery of a cramped room with barred windows in Pompeii has revealed what one expert describes as a "most shocking side of ancient slavery." Archaeologists, who found the room in the working quarters of a large house whose living quarters were lavishly decorated with frescoes and marble...

No, That's Not an Ancient Pizza
No, That's Not an Ancient Pizza

No, That's Not an Ancient Pizza

2K-year-old Pompeii fresco looks like pizza, but the ingredients weren't around at the time

(Newser) - A still-life fresco discovered recently in Pompeii looks like it depicts a pizza, but it doesn't, experts at the archaeological site said Tuesday. They noted that key ingredients needed to make Italy's iconic dish—tomatoes and mozzarella—were not available when the fresco was painted some 2,000...

Vesuvius' Eruption Didn't Kill Newly Found Bodies in Pompeii

Archeologists speculate the men were killed during quakes accompanying the eruption

(Newser) - A pair of newly discovered skeletons dating from the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius 2,000 years ago are adding to the tragic story of the destruction of Pompeii, which wasn't inflicted solely by the eruption, reports USA Today. In a statement , Pompeii archaeological park director Gabriel Zuchtriegel writes that...

This Pompeii Home Stands Out From the Rest

House of the Vettii fully reopens to public after 20 years of restoration work

(Newser) - Two men freed from enslavement came to live a life of luxury in ancient Pompeii. Now their ornate home, dubbed "Pompeii's Sistine Chapel," has fully opened to the public for the first time in 20 years. The House of the Vettii—built in the second century BC,...

DNA Sequencing Solves Pompeii Mystery

Man who didn't try to flee had spinal condition, researchers say

(Newser) - Scientists say they have fully sequenced the DNA of a Mount Vesuvius victim for the first time—and the genetic information explains why the Pompeii resident didn't flee the eruption nearly 2,000 years ago. According to research published in the journal Scientific Reports , the man's DNA sequence...

This Vesuvius Victim 'Vaporized Instantly'

First skeleton found at Herculaneum in decades is stained red by blood

(Newser) - If you had to endure the AD79 eruption of Mount Vesuvius, Pompeii might not have been the worst place to be. While Pompeii residents are believed to have suffocated in a cloud of ash and gases in just 15 minutes, before they were covered in volcanic debris, new excavations at...

Discovery Uncovers Look at Slaves' Life in Pompeii

Room used for sleep and storage gives 'very rare insight' into slaves' conditions, Italian officials say

(Newser) - Archeologists in Pompeii excavating a villa amid the ruins of the 79 AD volcanic eruption that destroyed the ancient city have discovered a cramped dormitory and storage room that offers "a very rare insight into the daily life of slaves," officials said Saturday. Italy's culture minister, Dario...

Vesuvius Killed in Minutes
Vesuvius Killed in Minutes
new study

Vesuvius Killed in Minutes

Researchers say people of Pompeii couldn't escape cloud of ash and gases

(Newser) - Vesuvius killed the 2,000 people of Pompeii quickly—in about 15 minutes, new research shows. They died not when lava reached them after the volcano erupted, but in a cloud of ash and gases, the Guardian reports; the victims had no escape and were unable to breathe. Most of...

Archaeologists Make 'Unique' Find Near Pompeii

Officials were investigating an illegal dig site near the ancient Roman city

(Newser) - Officials at the Pompeii archaeological site in Italy announced Saturday the discovery of an intact ceremonial chariot, the AP reports, one of several important discoveries made in the same area outside the park near Naples following an investigation into an illegal dig. The chariot, with its iron elements, bronze decorations...

Archaeologists Uncover Ancient Pompeii Street Food

Snacks included pork, fish, snails, beef

(Newser) - Archaeologists continue to unearth new findings in the long-buried city of Pompeii and their latest discovery reveals how the doomed ancients liked to snack. Per CNN , an extraordinarily well-preserved hot food and drinks counter called a termopolium has been unearthed in the city, which was buried by an infamous volcanic...

Look What Just Turned Up in Pompeii
Look What Just
Turned Up in

Look What Just Turned Up in Pompeii

'The victims were probably looking for shelter'

(Newser) - Skeletal remains of what are believed to have been a rich man and his male slave attempting to escape death from the eruption of Mount Vesuvius nearly 2,000 years ago have been discovered in Pompeii, officials at the archaeological park in Italy said Saturday. Parts of the skulls and...

15 Years Later, Tourist Hopes Gesture Breaks 'Curse'

Woman returns Pompeii artifacts she lifted

(Newser) - In 2005, a tourist took a few ancient artifacts that didn't actually belong to her back home to Canada. Things haven't always gone well for her in the intervening years. She "had breast cancer twice,” she said, the last time resulting in a double mastectomy. Her...

Vesuvius May Have Turned Victim's Brain to Glass
Study of Vesuvius Victim's
Skull Reveals a Surprise
in case you missed it

Study of Vesuvius Victim's Skull Reveals a Surprise

Researchers say his brain turned to glass

(Newser) - The eruption of Mount Vesuvius may have most famously destroyed Pompeii, but the nearby town of Herculaneum endured a similar fate. Now a new study suggests that at least one of the town's residents suffered a remarkable, if grisly, fate: His brain essentially turned to glass, reports Live Science...

Pompeii Gives Up a 'Sorcerer's Treasure Trove'

So much for good-luck charms

(Newser) - There was perhaps no better place for good-luck charms than Pompeii circa AD79. Too bad they didn't quite work. Archaeologists combing the ancient Roman city discovered dozens of charms within a "sorcerer's treasure trove," encased in hardened volcanic material from Mount Vesuvius' eruption that year, per...

Harnessed Horse Unearthed in Pompeii Stable

General may have been preparing to flee

(Newser) - Archaeologists have unearthed the petrified remains of a harnessed horse and saddle in the stable of an ancient villa in a Pompeii suburb. Pompeii archaeological park head Massimo Osanna tells the ANSA news agency that the villa belonged to a high-ranking military officer, perhaps a general, during ancient Roman times....

In Pompeii Bedroom, 'Explicit Sensuality'

Leda is shown being impregnated by god in swan form in newly uncovered fresco

(Newser) - Archaeologists have found a fresco in an ancient Pompeii bedroom that depicts a sensual scene of the Roman god Jupiter, disguised as a swan, and a legendary queen of Sparta from Greek mythology. The figure of Leda being impregnated by the god in swan form was a fairly common home...

Small Inscription, Big Consequence for Ancient Pompeii

Newly found writing on wall suggests Vesuvius eruption came 2 months later than thought

(Newser) - A construction worker's ancient jotting on a wall might rewrite the history books. The wall scrawl suggests that the Roman city of Pompeii was destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in October of AD79, two months later than historians have long believed, reports the BBC . Uncovered by archaeologists...

Pompeii Victim's Death Not What It Seemed

It wasn't decapitation, but it was still pretty awful

(Newser) - In reporting on the discovery of a centuries-old Pompeii victim in May, we wrote that it wasn't hard to figure out what killed the man: Archaeologists found a massive stone block, probably hurled by a volcanic cloud, severing the top part of his body. Now it turns out the...

Victim Crushed by Rock Found at Pompeii

Bone infection slowed down his escape

(Newser) - It's not hard to figure out what killed a man whose remains were recently discovered at Pompeii—there is a massive stone block, probably hurled by a volcanic cloud, crushing the top part of his body. Determining why he was there takes more expertise: Archaeologists say there are lesions...

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