Archaeologists unearth ‘slave room’ in Pompeii

Archaeologists have discovered a room in a villa on the outskirts Pompeii containing beds and other objects that shed light on the living conditions of slaves in the ancient Roman city buried by a volcanic eruption.

The room, in excellent condition, contains three wooden beds and a series of other objects, including amphorae, ceramic jugs and a chamber pot.

Archaeologists working on the excavation.

Archaeological Park of Pompeii / AP

“This new and important discovery enriches our understanding of the daily life of the ancient Pompeians, especially of that social class about which little is still known,” said Italian Culture Minister Dario Franceschini.

Under Roman law, slaves were considered property and had no legal personality.

The “slave room” is near where a ceremonial carriage It was discovered earlier this year, near the stables of an ancient villa in Civita Giuliana, about 700 meters north of the walls of ancient Pompeii.

On top of the beds, archaeologists discovered a wooden chest containing metal and cloth objects that could have been part of horse harnesses, while a carriage shaft was found on one bed.

Two of the beds were 1.7 meters (5.6 feet) long, while the third was only 1.4 meters (4.6 feet), indicating that the room could have been used by a small family of slaves, the Ministry of Culture said.

The 172-square-foot room, with a small window at the top, also served as storage space, with eight amphorae tucked away in the corners.

Pompeii, 14 miles southeast of Naples, was home to about 13,000 people when it was buried under ash, pumice pebbles and dust while enduring the force of an eruption in AD 79 equivalent to many atomic bombs.

The site, not discovered until the 16th century, has witnessed an outbreak of recent archaeological activity aimed at halting years of decay and neglect.

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