A thermopolium, a sort of “fast-food” street counter in ancient Rome. AFP
Gulf Report Today
For fast food fans, here is some interesting information. The Romans had it long before McDonald’s, KFC or Burger King existed.
A 2,000-year-old fast food stall unearthed in the ashes of Pompeii has given researchers new clues about ancient Romans eating takeout quickly.
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The ornate snack bar counter, decorated with polychrome patterns and frozen in volcanic ash, was partially unearthed last year but archaeologists have extended work on the site to reveal it in all its glory.
Pompeii was buried in a sea of boiling lava when the nearby Mount Vesuvius volcano erupted in AD 79, killing between 2,000 and 15,000 people.
Archaeologists continue to make discoveries there.
The thermopolium – from the Greek “thermos” for hot and “poleo” for sell – at what was a busy intersection of Silver Wedding Street and Alley of Balconies, was the Roman-era equivalent of a fast-food stand .
Thermopolium was very popular in the Roman world. Pompeii alone had about 80.
The team found duck bone fragments as well as the remains of goats, fish and snails in earthen pots. Some of the ingredients had been cooked together like a paella from Roman times.
Crushed beans, used to modify the taste of the drink, were found at the bottom of a jar, according to Agence France-Presse.
The counter appears to have been hastily closed and abandoned by its owners – perhaps just as the first rumblings of the eruption were felt – Massimo Osanna, general manager of the Pompeii Archaeological Park, told the agency press Ansa.
Witness of antiquity
Amphoras, a water tower and a fountain rubbed shoulders with human remains, including those of a man who was said to have been in his fifties and discovered near a child’s bed.
“It is possible that someone, possibly the oldest man, remained and perished during the first phase of the eruption,” Osanna told Ansa news agency.
The remains of another person were also found and may be an opportunistic thief or someone fleeing the eruption who was “surprised by the hot fumes just as he had his hand on the lid of the pot it had just opened,” Osanna added.
In the latest stage of their work, archaeologists have uncovered a number of still life scenes, including depictions of animals that would have been on the menu, including mallards and a rooster, to be served with cold or hot drinks .
Previously, a fresco bearing the image of a Nereid nymph riding a seahorse and gladiators in battle was discovered.
“In addition to bearing witness to daily life in Pompeii, the analytical possibilities offered by this thermopolium are exceptional because for the first time we have excavated a site in its entirety,” said Massimo Osanna, general director of the Archaeological Park of Pompeii. .