Elites of Pompeii dined on giraffe leg and flamingo
Washington: Archaeologists have found that the people of the ancient city of Pompeii may have eaten a varied diet, with the rich enjoying delicacies such as flamingos and the poor scrounging for soup or gruel.
Steven Ellis from University of Cincinnati and his team of archaeologists have spent more than a decade at two city blocks within a non-elite district in the Roman city of Pompeii, which was buried under a volcano in 79 AD.
The excavations are uncovering the earlier use of buildings that would have dated back to the 6th century.
"The material from the drains revealed a range and quantity of materials to suggest a rather clear socio-economic distinction between the activities and consumption habits of each property, which were otherwise indistinguishable hospitality businesses," Ellis said.
Findings revealed foods that would have been inexpensive and widely available, such as grains, fruits, nuts, olives, lentils, local fish and chicken eggs, as well as minimal cuts of more expensive meat and salted fish from Spain.
Waste from neighboring drains would also turn up less of a variety of foods, revealing a socioeconomic distinction between neighbors.
A drain from a central property revealed a richer variety of foods as well as imports from outside Italy, such as shellfish, sea urchin and even delicacies including the butchered leg joint of a giraffe.
The researcher said that the bone represents the height of exotic food is underscored by the fact that this is thought to be the only giraffe bone ever recorded from an archaeological excavation in Roman Italy.
How part of the animal, butchered, came to be a kitchen scrap in a seemingly standard Pompeian restaurant not only speaks to long-distance trade in exotic and wild animals, but also something of the richness, variety and range of a non-elite diet.
Deposits also included exotic and imported spices, some from as far away as Indonesia.
Ellis added that one of the deposits dates as far back as the 4th century, which he said is a particularly valuable discovery, since few other ritual deposits survived from that early stage in the development of Pompeii.
The study will be presented at the joint annual meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA) and American Philological Association (APA) in Chicago.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- Over 60 cadets killed in Pakistan police academy attack
- DNA: Exclusive report on the extreme sacrifices made by ITBP soldiers
- Watch: PM Narendra Modi's ''progressive'' remark on triple talaq
- DNA: Terrorists' new strategy of snatching weapons from Indian security personnel
- Panel discussion over delayed development in Ayodhya
- Explosion in Delhi's Naya Bazar, one killed; anti-terror wing, Special cell at spot
- This is why Cyrus Mistry was removed as Chairman of Tata Sons!
- WATCH: Akhilesh Yadav's emotional speech revealing the real reason behind Samajwadi Party crisis; he was about to cry
- Read letters by Ratan Tata to PM Narendra Modi and Group employees after Cyrus Mistry's ouster
- Prompt action on border pushes Pak to offer olive branch, says both sides need to 'formalise' 2003 ceasefire