Rare Roman Remains Uncover City Destroyed By Volcanic Eruption


Kay Smythe News and Commentary Writer
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Officials in the city of Pompeii announced Thursday the discovery of an ancient Roman banquet room adorned with the most beautiful paintings.

The dining room featured “elegant black walls” adorned with “mythological characters and subjects inspired by the Trojan War,” according to a press release from Pompeii’s Archaeological site. The room was revealed during excavations, bringing the frescoes and mosaics back to life for all to see.

The “dominant theme” of the room seems to be centered on heroism and deities, the team revealed. Notable depictions include that of Helen of Troy, believed to be the most beautiful woman in the world, as she introduces herself to Paris, Prince of Troy. The walls also depict Cassandra, who has one of the darkest stories in ancient mythology.

“Cassandra was renowned for her gift of foresight and her terrible fate which prevented her from altering the course of future events,” the researchers noted. ” Despite her ability to predict the future, no one believed her as a result of a curse that Apollo put upon her for refusing to give herself to him, and she was therefore unable to prevent the tragic events of the Trojan War that she had foreseen.”

Cassandra’s story ends with her rape and enslavement following the war.

The walls of the room were painted black to stop smoke and dirt from oil lamps being seen on the walls, director of Pompeii’s archaeological park Gabriel Zuchtriegal added.

“People would meet to dine after sunset; the flickering light of the lamps had the effect of making the images appear to move, especially after a few glasses of good Campanian wine,” he continued.

The paintings offer a conversation piece in the enormous room, which opens onto a courtyard. Far more work is needed to dig the entire area out of the dirt. So who knows what else is buried down there. (RELATED: Scientists Reveal Newly Legible Pompeii Scrolls, Unread For Almost 2,000 Years. Is History About To Blow Up?)

In 79 A.D., Pompeii was suffocated, cooked and burned alive as the pyroclastic flows of Mount Vesuvius engulfed the region. Anywhere from 2,000 to 16,000 people perished during the natural disaster.