New fresco with gladiators discovered in Pompeii

13 Octobre, 2019, 00:21 | Auteur: Christine Menetries
  • The colourful fresco was found on the wall of what archeologists think may have been a tavern in ancient Pompeii

The fresco, which depicts the end of a fight between two gladiators, is the latest find at the Regio V site to the north of the archaeological park, an area that remains closed to the public.

Archeologists excavating what may have been an ancient Roman drinking den in the ruined city of Pompeii said Friday they have unearthed a well-preserved wall painting of gladiators in action, complete with realistically gory wounds.

The fresco, which measures 3ft by 4.5ft, was found in what was probably a gritty tavern or cheap "thermopolium" snack bar, which were popular in Pompeii before the city was smothered in volcanic ash from the eruption of Mt Vesuvius in AD79.

"Very probably the fresco decorated a place used by gladiators, perhaps a watering hole ...frequented by prostitutes", a statement from Pompeii said.

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"What is particularly interesting is the extremely realistic representation of the wounds, such as the one on the wrist and chest of the unsuccessful gladiator, from which the blood runs, wetting his leggings", Osanna said. The losing gladiator is holding up his finger to "implore for mercy", he noted. But the site in recent years has also received bad publicity due to decay and poor maintenance.

Italy's culture minister Dario Franceschini hailed the "unprecedented discovery by archaeologists, who for the first time since 79 AD were digging in an area never investigated until today".

As part of a multimillion-dollar project funded by the European Union, Pompeii is undergoing an extensive excavation, with archaeologists removing tons of debris from long-buried parts of the city.

Perhaps the most significant find at the Regio V so far has been an inscription uncovered past year that proves the city was destroyed by Mount Vesuvius after October 17, 79 AD and not on August 24 as previously thought.

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