Hidden for 2,000 years, striking paintings uncovered in Pompeii

NEW DELHI: In recent excavations at the ancient Roman city of Pompeii, the archaeologists uncovered a banquet hall decorated with frescos from Greek mythology.
The well-preserved wall paintings depict deity Apollo seeking to seduce the Trojan priestess Cassandra, and Helen of Troy meeting Paris, which would lead to war.
“The mythical couples were starting points for talking about the past and life,” Pompeii director Gabriel Zuchtreigel said.
Talking about the walls of the banquet hall, Zuchtreigel said, “The walls were black to prevent the smoke from the lamps on the walls from being seen,” he said.

Image credit: AFP
The banqueting hall, which is around 15 metres by six metres (50 feet by 20 feet), opens into a courtyard that seems to be an open-air service passageway, with a staircase ascending to the first floor.
Referring to the southern Italian part, Zuchtreigel said, “Here they gathered to feast after sunset, the flickering light of the lamps made the images seem to move, especially after a few glasses of good Campania wine.”

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Image credit: AFP
The hall, with its largely intact mosaic floor, was discovered during an excavation that also revealed a bakery, a laundry, and homes with lavish frescoed living rooms.
Calling Pompeii a “treasure chest”, Culture Minister Gennaro Sanguiliano said, “Pompeii is truly a treasure chest that never ceases to surprise us and arouse amazement because, every time we dig, we find something beautiful and significant.”
Pompeii was devastated when Mount Vesuvius erupted about 2,000 years ago, in 79 AD.


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