Photo credit: Archaeological Park of Pompeii
It may not resemble the snack bars of today, but this one, discovered by archaeologists in Pompeii dates back to 79 C.E. The snack bar, or thermopolia, is decorated with various images, including a rooster, ducks, and a dog on a leash and just one of the eighty other stalls unearthed at this site. This enables researchers to learn about the eating and living habits of residents of the ancient city.
The snack bar had been partially excavated in 2019, and this phase revealed the frescoes of the animals. One confirmation that archaeologists were able to make is that one of the vessels contained wine and the others, possibly two dishes with various meats. Around this site, several other items were also discovered, including a decorated bronze drinking bowl, wine flasks, ceramic jars used to cook soups, and a Roman jar used for storing or transporting liquids.
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Our preliminary analyses shows that the figures drawn on the front of the counter, represent, at least in part, the food and drink that were sold there. [The discovery is a] testimony to the great variety of animal products used to prepare dishes,” said anthropologist Valeria Amoretti.