Pompeii kept another secret: a bedroom for slaves with adjustable beds

Pompeii was well known as a vacation spot for the wealthiest and most powerful of the time. One peaceful afternoon like any other, that of August 24, 79, a distant thunder was heard and the ground began to shake. The Vesuvius volcano was erupting, spitting out the bowels of the earth at just over a thousand degrees Celsius.

In just a few hours, everything had been covered with ashes up to a height of six meters. That pyroplastic flow plunged Pompeii into oblivion for centuries. It was a tragedy but, on the other hand, that process preserved the city like an insect preserved in amber. A city frozen in time, enclosed in a bibelot, until, in 1748, excavations began in the area and the natural museum that lay there was discovered, although the city was not identified as such until much later, in 1763.

Among the buildings, the fossilized corpses and others, what was also discovered was the graffiti on the walls inside and outside the houses. Now we can also add this room with beds made of several roughly worked wooden boards that can be adjusted according to the height of the user. While two of them are around 1.7 meters long, one bed is only 1.4 meters long and may therefore have belonged to a young man or boy.

Inside the room, where three wooden beds have been found, a wooden chest was discovered containing metal and fabric objects, which appear to be parts of horse harnesses.

Various personal items have also been found under the beds, including amphorae placed to store private belongings, ceramic jugs, and a “urinal”. The room was lit by a small upper window and shows no evidence of having had decorations on the walls.

The excavation of the room is part of the work that the Pompeii Archaeological Park is carrying out together with the Torre Annunziata Prosecutor’s Office, led by the Prosecutor General Nunzio Fragliasso.

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