Pompeii dig yields rare window into daily life of enslaved

Published on Nov 07, 2021 04:23 AM IST

The little room with three beds, a ceramic pot and a wooden chest was discovered during a dig at the Villa of Civita Giuliana, a suburban villa just a few hundred metres from the rest of the ancient city.

A “slaves room” at a Roman villa, containing beds, amphorae, ceramic pitchers and a chamber pot is discovered in a dig near the ancient Roman city of Pompeii(AP)
A “slaves room” at a Roman villa, containing beds, amphorae, ceramic pitchers and a chamber pot is discovered in a dig near the ancient Roman city of Pompeii(AP)
ByHT Editorial, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Pompeii archaeologists said on Saturday they have unearthed the remains of a “slave room” in an exceptionally rare find at a Roman villa destroyed by Mount Vesuvius’ eruption nearly 2,000 years ago.

The little room with three beds, a ceramic pot and a wooden chest was discovered during a dig at the Villa of Civita Giuliana, a suburban villa just a few hundred metres from the rest of the ancient city.

An almost intact ornate Roman chariot was discovered here at the start of this year, and archaeologists said on Saturday that the room likely housed slaves charged with maintaining and prepping the chariot.

“This is a window into the precarious reality of people who rarely appear in historical sources, written almost exclusively by men belonging to the elite,” said Pompeii’s director general Gabriel Zuchtriegel.

The 16-square metre room was a cross between a bedroom and a storeroom: as well as three beds - one of which was child sized - there were 8 amphorae, stashed in a corner. The wooden chest held metal and fabric objects that seem to be part of the harnesses of the chariot horses, and a chariot shaft was found resting on one of the beds.

Pompeii was buried in ash when Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD, killing those who hadn’t managed to leave the city in time. They were either crushed by collapsing buildings or killed by thermal shock.

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