Archaeologists discovered a small bedroom that was used by slaves in a dig near Pompeii, the Italian culture ministry said in a statement. The room was discovered during an excavation at the Civita Giuliana Roman Villa, which is located about 600 metres outside of the walls that once surrounded the city. This famous city was destroyed by Mount Vesuvius’ eruption in 79AD.
The room contained two beds — only one of which had a mattress — basic cabinets, and containers that had the remains of rats and mice inside, the Italian culture ministry said, “details that underscore the precarious and unhygienic conditions in which the lower echelons of society lived.”
The find also offered an insight into the social hierarchy in ancient Rome, as the culture ministry noted that there was no evidence of locks or shackles discovered in the room.
“It seems that control was established mainly through the internal organization of servitude, and not through barriers and physical constraints,” Gabriel Zuchtriegel, the director of the Pompeii archaeological park, said.
The archaeologists were able to create a cast of the materials that were in the room when it was enveloped by the Vesuvius eruption, as things like fabrics and furniture that were covered in a cloud of volcanic ash decompose over the years, eventually leaving a void below the debris.
Filling this void with plaster unveils the original shape of the items that were in the room, as can be seen in the image released by the culture ministry, providing a vivid snapshot of life 2,000 years ago.
Archaeological activity has ramped up around Pompeii in recent years, largely thanks to a 105 million euro, or $114. 4 million, funding boost.
Gennaro Sangiuliano, the Italian Minister of Culture, said the finds confirmed the need to continue research in the area.
” “What we learn about the social organization and material conditions of this era is opening up new horizons in historical and archaeological studies,” said Sangiuliano.