Pompeii excavators unearth treasure chest of frescos

Pompeii excavators unearth treasure chest of frescos


Gennaro Sangiuliano, the culture minister, said: “Pompeii really is a treasure chest that never ceases to amaze us. Every time we dig, we find something beautiful and important.” 

Massimo Osanna, the director general of Italy’s museums and archaeological sites, said the “extraordinary crop” of recent discoveries was helping academics have a much better understanding of the lives of ancient Romans. 

The banqueting hall was accessed by a long staircase, where experts found more remarkable discoveries including two pairs of fighting gladiators and “what appears to be an enormous, stylised phallus,” the archaeologists said. 

Phallus images appear all over Pompeii and were believed to bring good fortune. The experts also found parts of a gaudily coloured ceiling fresco which depicts theatrical masks, food and Egyptian landscapes.

The banqueting hall and surrounding villa may have belonged to a wealthy Roman politician called Aulus Rustius Verus. 

The initials ARV have been found on the walls of the villa.

He is believed to have used the adjacent bakery to produce bread that he then doled out for free, in an early form of vote-buying.


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