Enrichment Arts & Culture

Pompeii to open ancient fast food joint

Story at a glance

  • Archaeologists began excavating the thermopolium, a type of snack counter found throughout the Roman world, in 2019.
  • The counter lined with jars embedded in it which held food is decorated with brightly colored frescos depicting animals, such as ducks and roosters, that were likely butchered and sold there.
  • The archaeological site will open to visitors starting Aug. 12.

An ancient fast food restaurant that was recently excavated in the Roman city of Pompeii is set to open up to the public this week. 

Archaeologists began excavating the thermopolium, a type of snack counter found throughout the Roman world, in 2019. 

The eatery discovered in the archaeological park’s Regio V site was found to be preserved in exceptional condition, due to the volcanic ash from the violent eruption of Mount Vesuvius that buried the city more than 2,000 years ago. 

The counter lined with jars embedded in it which held food is decorated with brightly colored frescos depicting animals, such as ducks and roosters, that were likely butchered and sold there. 

Decorations on the counter also show a figure of a Nereid, or sea nymph, on horseback in the ocean. 


America is changing faster than ever! Add Changing America to your Facebook or Twitter feed to stay on top of the news.


Bone fragments from ducks, pigs, goats, fish and snails were also discovered in pots, leading researchers to believe a type of paella was likely on the menu, according to The Guardian

The Guardian reports such restaurants were frequented by poorer residents of Pompeii who didn’t have kitchens in their own home. 

More than 80 such food counters have been unearthed in Pompeii over two centuries of digging. 

The ancient diner will open to visitors starting Aug. 12

Mount Vesuvius showered volcanic debris over Pompeii in 79 AD, killing thousands of the city’s residents and preserving their bodies in volcanic ash. The city remained frozen in time until it was discovered some 1,500 years later.


READ MORE STORIES FROM CHANGING AMERICA

IN ‘GREATEST ART FIND IN 100 YEARS,’ MAN DISCOVERS LONG-LOST VAN GOGH MASTERPIECE

CHRISSY TEIGEN APOLOGIZES FOR BEING A CYBER BULLY

ELON MUSK WAS NOT THE FIRST ‘SNL’ HOST WITH ASPERGER’S

DWYANE WADE AND GABRIELLE UNION OPEN UP ABOUT RAISING A TRANS DAUGHTER

‘JEOPARDY’ ERUPTS IN CONTROVERSY AFTER WINNER ALLEGEDLY FLASHES WHITE POWER SIGN

JAY-Z BLASTS CANCEL CULTURE

CHADWICK BOSEMAN’S FAMILY DEFENDS ANTHONY HOPKINS AFTER OSCARS BACKLASH