26 February 2024 The Future is the Product of the Past

The latest discovery at the villa Civita Giuliana, north of Pompeii, the remains of a slave room

Ella IDE Pompeii archaeologists announced Saturday the discovery of the remnants of a “slave room” in an exceedingly unusual find at a Roman house devastated over 2,000 years ago by Mount Vesuvius’ explosion.

Three wooden beds, a chamber pot, and a wooden chest holding metal and cloth goods were discovered in the restricted living quarters of a vast villa in Civita Giuliana, roughly 700 meters northwest of Pompeii’s city walls.

A virtually complete ornate Roman chariot was unearthed here earlier this year, and researchers said Saturday that the chamber most likely housed slaves responsible for cleaning and preparing the chariot.

The only natural light in the 16-square-meter area came from a single high window, and no wall decorations were visible.

Gabriel Zuchtriegel, Pompeii’s director-general, said the discovery was “exceptional”, “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.”

Pompeii slave room
Beds, pots and other possessions in the well-preserved room in Villa Giuliana. Photo: Pompeiisites

The “unique testimony” into how “the weakest in the ancient society lived … is certainly one of the most exciting discoveries in my life as an archaeologist,” he said in a press release.

The 16-square-foot (170-square-foot) room was a cross between a bedroom and a storeroom. There were 3 beds in the room.

The beds are composed of several roughly worked hardwood planks that may be modified to fit the height of whoever uses them. While two of them are around 1.7 meters long, one bed is only 1.4 meters long and may have belonged to a young man or child.

Civita Giuliana
Extremely well-preserved “Slave Room” at Villa Civita Giuliana in Pompeii. Photo: Pompeiisites

Several personal objects were found under the beds, including amphorae positioned to store private possessions, ceramic jugs, and a ‘chamber pot’.

The chamber was used for storage as well as a dormitory for a group of slaves – maybe a small family, as the existence of the child-sized bed would imply – as evidenced by the eight amphorae squeezed into the corners that were otherwise left open for this reason.

“The room grants us a rare insight into the daily reality of slaves, thanks to the exceptional state of preservation of the room,” the Pompeii archaeological park said.

Experts had been able to make plaster casts of the beds and other objects in perishable materials that left their imprint in the cinerite – the rock made of volcanic ash – that covered them, it said.

The excavation of the chamber is part of the work being done by the Archaeological Park of Pompeii in collaboration with the Torre Annunziata Public Prosecutor’s Office, which is supervised by the Chief Prosecutor Nunzio Fragliasso.

The Villa of Civita Giuliana had been the target of systematic looting for years. There was evidence some of the “archaeological heritage” in this so-called slave room had also been lost to looters, the park said.

Damage by grave robbers in the villa had been estimated so far at almost two million euros ($2.3 million), it added.

Massimo Osanna, Director-General of Museums, “The study of this room, which will be enriched by the results of ongoing analyses, will allow us to uncover new and interesting information on the living conditions and lives of slaves at Pompeii and in the Roman world,” he said.

POMPEII

Related Articles

A cemetery belonging to 54 children was found during the excavation in the old quarry in Diyarbakır, Türkiye

4 January 2024

4 January 2024

During the archaeological excavation carried out in the area considered to be an old quarry in the Kulp district of...

3500-year-old mysterious hieroglyphs discovered in Yerkapı Tunnel in Hattusa deciphered

12 October 2023

12 October 2023

Some of the Anatolian hieroglyphs discovered last year in the Yerkapı Tunnel in Hattusa, the former capital of the Hittite...

2,300 years old amazing preserved looks almost new Celtic scissors discovered in Germany

30 April 2023

30 April 2023

During a construction project in Munich’s Sendling district, Celtic cremation tombs were discovered. The quality of preservation of the grave...

1000-Year-Old Tomb Found in Perre Ancient City in southeast Turkey

1 July 2021

1 July 2021

A 1,000-year-old tomb was unearthed in the ancient city of Perre in Adiyaman province. Perre is one of the five...

Tomb of an Urartian buried with his dog, cattle, sheep, and 4 horses unearthed

6 September 2021

6 September 2021

In ancient times, the dead were buried with their living and non-living things. The offerings placed as dead gifts varied...

2700-year-old Ancient Blacksmith Workshop Unearthed in Oxfordshire

6 February 2024

6 February 2024

Archaeologists have uncovered a “master blacksmith’s” Iron Age workshop in South Oxfordshire, a local government center in the ceremonial county...

8,000-year-old Musical Instrument found in northwest Turkey

4 July 2021

4 July 2021

Archaeologists in northwestern Turkey’s Bilecik on Tuesday discovered a musical instrument that dates back to an estimated 8,000 years. During...

Peru finds perfectly preserved a wooden figure in the Americas’ largest mud-brick city

29 June 2022

29 June 2022

A perfectly preserved wooden figure has been discovered at the Chan Chan archaeological site, in northern Peru, the Ministry of...

1400-year-old gold foil figures found in pagan temple

19 September 2023

19 September 2023

Archaeologists have discovered a votive gold hoard during road development works in Vingrom, south of Lillehammer on the shores of...

HS2 archaeologists discover Romanization of Iron Age village in Britain

12 January 2022

12 January 2022

Archaeologists have uncovered a vast Roman trading town on Britain’s HS2 high-speed rail route. Evidence found during a dig of...

Two new fragments of the Fasti Ostienses, a kind of chronicle engraved on marble slabs, have been found in the Ostia Antica Archaeological Park

19 August 2023

19 August 2023

Two new fragments of the Fasti Ostienses have been discovered in the Ostia Antica Archaeological Park, following investigations carried out...

Iraq’s historic Arch of Ctesiphon undergoes restoration work

28 November 2021

28 November 2021

Iraq’s Arch of Ctesiphon, the world’s largest brick-built arch, is having restoration work to return it to its former splendour,...

Was Stavanger Cathedral Built on a Viking Settlement?

4 June 2021

4 June 2021

Archaeologists have discovered animal bones and habitation evidence underneath the northern part of Stavanger cathedral that they believe date from...

Researchers Say that Neanderthals Had the Same Hearing Capacity as Humans

1 March 2021

1 March 2021

Virtual reconstructions of Neanderthal ears show that had the same physical capacity for hearing as modern humans, and by inference...

Archaeologists Reveal First Settlement of Cimmerians in Anatolia

23 June 2023

23 June 2023

Continuing excavations in Türkiye’s central Kırıkkale province have revealed new findings indicating that Büklükale village was the first settlement of...