Pompeii continues to uncover its treasures submerged under volcanic ash (photos)
the latest treasures found by scientists Revealed in the ruins of Pompeii, an ancient sacred shrine and a courtyard surrounded by images of mythical monsters.
The excavations in the Italian city of Pompeii revealed an ancient shrine surrounded by “vibrant” paintings of plants, snakes and birds.
The old shrine was well preserved under volcanic ash left behind by the devastating eruption of the Vesuvius volcano in 79 AD, which destroyed the city and killed 16,000 people.
The images of the site show dark brown walls and bull paintings, as well as scenes of a charming garden of small birds, trees and snakes.
Archaeologists described the shrine as “extraordinary” and are now digging the rubble to find out more about the people who used it.
In ancient Roman times, “lararium” was a space for altars at the entrances to the homes of the wealthy, offering prayers and offerings to the gods.
Massimo Osana, head of the excavation team at Pompeii archaeological site, described the discovery as “a wonderful and mysterious room that must now be studied at length.”
This room, which has not been excavated yet, is built into a small house wall and features paintings of the main Roman goddesses of household rituals.
The animal paintings in the charming garden scene, a traditional example of Roman painting style, are considered with a peacock drawing along the wall to give the appearance like a walk in the garden really.
One of the murals depicts a man with a dog’s head, and experts suggest it to be a Roman version of the Egyptian god Anubis.
Professor Ingrid Rowland, a historian at the University of Notre Dame, told The New York Times that holy shrines were common in Roman families.
She added that each house had a “lararium” of some sort, but “only the rich could have had it in a private room with a swimming pool and luxurious decorations.”
Osana pointed out that the site was “exceptional” not only because of the “stunning decoration of the wall panels” but also because it was “very well preserved”.
He said the colors of the paintings are intact because they have been buried under volcanic ash throughout these years, but light and atmosphere will quickly fade out unless action is taken to protect them.