Archaeologists Discover 2000-Year-Old Depiction Of What Looks Like One Of America’s Favorite Foods

(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Julianna Frieman Contributor
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One of America’s favorite foods appears to have been depicted centuries before it became a modern staple.

A painting found by archeologists in the ancient Roman city of Pompeii portrays what could have been the precursor to pizza, according to BBC.

The 2,000-year-old fresco shows what looks like a flatbread that “may be a distant relative of the modern dish,” Italy’s culture minister said. However, the food depicted does not contain enough pizza ingredients enough to warrant pizza classification.

The painting was found in the hallway of a house located beside a bakery, BBC reported. The discovery happened during recent digs at the historic Pompeii site.

Excavations of Regio IX in the center of Pompeii, one of nine districts the dig site is divided into, revealed the ancient artwork. The house where the painting was found was partially excavated in the 19th century and digging resumed in January 2023, roughly 2,000 years since a volcanic eruption ravaged Pompeii. (RELATED: Video Shows New Yorker Chucking Pizza At City Hall To Protest Wood Stove Restrictions)

“How can we fail to think, in this regard, of pizza, also born as a ‘poor’ dish in southern Italy, which has now conquered the world and is also served in starred restaurants,” Pompeii director Gabriel Zuchtriegel said.

The fresco depicts prehistoric pizza alongside a goblet of wine and a meal plated on a silver tray. Zuchtriegel observed that the picture shows the contrast between a “frugal and simple meal” and the “luxury of silver trays.”

Skeletons of three people were found near the oven inside the home during recent excavations, according to an Italian culture ministry statement.

Mount Vesuvius erupted in AD 79, burying the city of Pompeii in ash and freezing the city in time. Archeologists have explored this area since its discovery in the 16th century.

Naples, the modern home of the Italian pizza, is located 14 miles from the dig site.

News of the fresco’s discovery comes as a potential New York City mandate would crack down on coal and wood-fired pizzerias. The purpose of the rule is to reduce carbon emissions by installing expensive emission-control devices in eatery kitchens.