Archaeologists in Pompeii found an incredibly well-preserved ancient snack bar complete with remnants of 2,000-year-old food

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  • Archaeologists in Pompeii discovered a well-preserved snack bar complete with 2,000-year-old food remnants.
  • Decorated with brightly colored frescoes, the so-called thermopolium is the first of 80 others found at the site, fully intact.
  • The archaeologists even found traces of nearly 2,000-year-old food, including remnants of pork, fish, snails, and beef. 
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An incredibly well-preserved snack bar complete with 2,000-year-old food remnants has been excavated in the streets of the ancient Roman city Pompeii, a team of archaeologists announced on Saturday.

The so-called thermopolium – which is Latin for a hot drink counter  –  was discovered in the archaeological park’s north-eastern Regio V site, which is not yet open to the public.

Decorated with brightly colored frescoes and complete with deep circular holes that would have been used to hold jars, the food bar is the first of its kind to be found fully intact.

Its frescoes, some of which show a chicken and two hanging mallard ducks, are believed to have been depictions of animals that were on the menu.

The archaeologists even found traces of nearly 2,000-year-old food, including remnants of pork, fish, snails, and beef. Duck bone fragments were also found as well as crushed fava beans, which were used to modify the taste of wine.

Other cooking utensils, including a bronze drinking bowl, ceramic jars, and wine flasks, were also found at the site.

Video: Unearthed: fast food, ancient-Roman style (Reuters)

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“As well as bearing witness to daily life in Pompeii, the possibilities to analyze afforded by this thermopolium are exceptional because for the first time we have excavated a site in its entirety,” said Massimo Osanna, director general at the Archaeological Park of Pompeii, according to the Guardian. Pompeii had around 80 thermopoliums.

Human remains, including those of a man, believed to have been about 50 were also discovered nearby.

“The counter seems to have been closed in a hurry and abandoned by its owners but it is possible that someone, perhaps the oldest man, stayed behind and perished during the first phase of the eruption,” Osanna added.

Pompeii was home to around 13,000 people when it was buried in ash and pumice after the nearby Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD.

Its ruins were first discovered in the 16th century. Since then, archaeologists have dug up around two-thirds of the site.

With around 2.5 million visitors a year, Pompeii is one of modern Italy’s most popular attractions.

Earlier this year, a Canadian tourist sent back several artifacts she stole from Pompeii back in 2005, believing she had been “cursed” by them.

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