The Thermopolium of Regio V
Yet more evidence of daily life emerges at Pompeii, in the form of the discovery of the latest Thermopolium (snack bar), which recently came to light in the excavations of Regio V.
The Thermopolium emerged in the open space which acts as a crossroads between Vicolo delle Nozze d’Argento and Vicolo dei Balconi, which has now been entirely uncovered. The commercial structure has been partially excavated, since it lies along one of the excavation fronts subject to the stabilisation and consolidation intervention of the Great Pompeii Project, which is focusing on the over 3km perimeter of the unexcavated area of the site.
On one side, the decorations on the counter depict the beautiful figure of a Nereid on horseback in a marine environment, and on the other is most probably the illustration of the business conducted in the shop, almost as if it were a shop sign. The discovery of amphorae, which were located in front of the counter, reflected the painted image exactly.
Thermopolia were places where, as the name of Greek origin would suggest, drinks and hot foods were served, and these goods were stored in largedolia (jars) which were embedded in the masonry serving counter. Such establishments were located all over the Roman world, when it was common to go out to eat the prandium (meal). At Pompeii alone, there are around eighty of them.
“Even if structures like these are well known at Pompeii - declares interim Director Alfonsina Russo - discovering more of them, along with objects which went hand in hand with commercial and thus daily life, continue to transmit powerful emotions that transport us to those tragic moments of the eruption, which nonetheless left us unique insights into Roman civilisation.
Photographs by the Archaeological Park of Pompeii only newspaper/no archive