Excavations Shed Light on the Everyday Life of Pompeii’s Middle Class

Accent table in Pompeii
A
small
accent
table
found
in
a
Pompeii
bedroom

Courtesy
of
the
Archaeological
Park
of
Pompeii

Discoveries
in

Pompeii
—from

elaborate
frescoes

to

garden
shrines
—have
taught
researchers
a
lot about the
city’s
wealthiest
residents.
Until
recent
years,
however, the
lives
of
the
lower
and
middle
classes
have
garnered
less
interest.

But
now,
archaeologists
have
excavated
several
rooms
in
a
middle-class
home
partially
destroyed
by
the
eruption
of

Mount
Vesuvius

in
79
C.E. Frozen
in
time,
the
rooms
provide
a
snapshot
into
the
lives
of
everyday
people
in
the
ancient
Roman
city,
according
to
a

statement

from
the

Archaeological
Park
of
Pompeii
,
which
announced
the
find
on
Saturday.

On
the
lower
floor,
the
team
found
the
remnants
of
a
bedroom.
Beside
a
simple
cot,
a
wooden
chest
was
open,
preserved
as
its
owner
had
left
it
on
the
day
of
the
eruption.
Inside
was
a
small
lantern
with
an
image
of
the
god
Zeus
transforming
into
an
eagle.
Elsewhere
in
the
room,
decorative
plates
sat
on
a
three-legged
table,
“similar
to
the
accent
tables
in
vogue
today,”
writes
Frances
D’Emilio
of
the

Associated
Press

(AP).

A
nearby
storage
room,
also
on
the
lower
level,
was
perhaps
the
simplest
room
in
the
home.
Archaeologists
found
only
an
earthen
floor;
it
was
also
the
home’s
only
room
without
plastered
walls.

“In
the
Roman
Empire
there
was
a
significant
proportion
of
the
population
which
fought
for
their
social
status
and
for
whom
the
‘daily
bread’
was
anything
but
taken
for
granted,”
says
Gabriel
Zuchtriegel,
the
archaeological
site’s
director,
in
the
statement.
“It
was
a
social
class
that
was
vulnerable
during
political
crises
and
famines,
but
also
ambitious
to
climb
the
social
ladder.”

When
archaeologists
first
found
the
structure
in
2018,
they
called
it
the
“Larario
house,”
after
a
shrine
in
the
home
dedicated
to
the
household
gods,
or

Lares
,
per

Reuters

Valentina
Za.
They
also
unearthed
a
courtyard
filled
with
ornate
decorations,
which
contrasted
the
humbler
appearance
of
the
newly
excavated
rooms.

“We
do
not
know
who
the
inhabitants
of
the
house
were,”
adds
Zuchtriegel,
“but
certainly
the
culture
of

otium
”—or
leisure—“which
inspired
the
wonderful
decoration
of
the
courtyard
represented
for
them
more
a
future
they
dreamed
of
than
a
lived
reality.”

The
team
found
a
number
of
other
items
throughout
the
home,
including
an
incense
burner
in
the
shape
of
a
cradle
and
bronze
vessels.
Some
of
these
objects
originally
sat
on
the
upper
levels
but
fell
to
the
lower
levels
when
the
house
collapsed.

In
the
hallway
outside
the
storage
room,
researchers
found
a
wooden
cabinet
with
at
least
five
shelves,
which
held
kitchen
items
like
jugs
and
plates.

To
preserve
their
finds,
the
team
made

plaster
casts

of
the
objects—a
common
archaeological
method
used
by
researchers
at
Pompeii.
By
pouring
liquid
plaster
into
the
open
spaces
surrounded
by
volcanic
ash,
they
create
a
mold
of
what
the
object
once
looked
like.

The
ruins
of
Pompeii
were

discovered

in
the
16th
century.
Archaeologists
continue
to
make
new
discoveries
at
the
site,
often
facilitated
by
new

innovations

and

techniques
.
Today,
only
about

two-thirds

of
the
city
has
been
excavated.

Researchers
have
long
been
interested
in
the
“sumptuous,
elaborately
frescoed
villas
of

Pompeii’s
upper-class
residents,”
writes
the
AP.
“But
archaeology
activity
in
the
sprawling
site,
near
modern-day
Naples,
has
increasingly
focused
on
the
lives
of
the
middle
class
as
well
as
of
servants
and
other
enslaved
people.”

Last
fall,
for
example,
archaeologists
unearthed
a
sparsely
decorated
room
believed
to
have
served
as
living
quarters
for

an
enslaved
family

in
Pompeii.
The
room
contained
only
a
chamber
pot,
a
wooden
chest
and
three
beds.
Because
one
of
the
beds
was
smaller
than
the
others,
researchers
hypothesized
that
it
could
have
been
used
by
an
enslaved
child.

The
middle-class
home
was
found
in
an
area
called


Regio
V
,
one
of
Pompeii’s
largest
districts.
Excavations
there
are
ongoing.

Artikel ini diambil dari https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/excavations-shed-light-on-the-everyday-life-of-pompeiis-middle-class-180980558/

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