A Striking New Discovery in Pompeii Uncovers More Magnificence of the Lost City

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Ancient Roman Room Shows Rare Blue WallsMarco Cantile - Getty Images
  • Archeologists discovered an ancient room in Pompeii brimming with distinctive artistry.

  • The room is covered in painted female figures, and features a rare blue color adorning the walls.

  • The rarity of blue meant the color was often reserved for locations with immense decorative importance.

Blue was once a color reserved for the most special of occasions. One of those occasions was just unearthed in Pompeii in the south of Italy, highlighting how ancient Roman culture celebrated art and color in some of the most fanciful ways.

During an ongoing archaeological excavation of more than 13,000 rooms in a Pompeii archeological park—a location preserved by the Mount Vesuvius eruption of 79 AD—researchers found one room with blue walls, and frescoes of female figures showing the four seasons of the year. At the time it would have been painted, blues were typically reserved for the most decorative circumstances.

“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,” said Gennaro Sangiuliano, Italian Minister of Culture, according to EuroNews.

The room dwells within the Regio IX excavations in central Pompeii—an area known for a wealth of archaeological history that continues to offer findings from throughout the area’s history. The 86-square-foot room (dubbed a sacrarium, or a place for sacred objects), is highlighted by the rare-for-the-time color blue, the ministry said in a statement.

The paint wasn’t the only thing discovered in the room to invite intrigue—archaeologists also found 15 tall jugs known as amphorae, which were often used for transporting goods. A pair of bronze jugs and two oil lamps added to the cache within the blue room. The ministry reported that a heap of empty oyster shells was also found near the threshold. Painters typically ground the shells into a fine powder to add to plaster and mortar.

Earlier this year, Pompeii archaeologists discovered a banquet hall featuring frescoes that depicted scenes inspired by the Trojan War. The report from the ministry said that experts believe it to be one of the most striking discoveries made at the site.

Within the last few weeks, CNN reports, archaeologists reportedly also found children’s sketches that depict violent scenes of gladiators and hunters locked in battles with animals. The sketches were located on the walls of a back room in a residential sector of the Pompeii archaeological park.

The famous eruption of Mt. Vesuvius was tragic, but it helped capture a moment in ancient time. As the ministry wrote, everything from death and devastation to artistic beauty became “trapped and guarded by the blanket of ash that erupted from Vesuvius,” all helping to preserve stories about life in Pompeii.

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