Quantcast
Connect with us

Pompeii restoration unearths ‘surprise’ treasures

Published

on

Vivid frescoes and never-before-seen inscriptions were among the treasures unearthed in a massive years-long restoration of the world-famous archeological site Pompeii that came to a close Tuesday.

The painstaking project saw an army of workers reinforce walls, repair collapsing structures and excavate untouched areas of the sprawling site, Italy’s second most visited tourist destination after Rome’s Colosseum.

ADVERTISEMENT

New discoveries were made too, in areas of the ruins not yet explored by modern-day archaeologists at the site — frequently pillaged for jewels and artefacts over the centuries.

“When you excavate in Pompeii there are always surprises,” the site’s general director Massimo Osanna told reporters Tuesday.

Archeologists discovered in October a vivid fresco depicting an armour-clad gladiator standing victorious as his wounded opponent gushes blood, painted in a tavern believed to have housed the fighters as well as prostitutes.

And in 2018, an inscription was uncovered that proves the city near Naples was destroyed after October 17, 79 AD, and not on August 24 as previously believed.

That might not be the end of fresh discoveries.

ADVERTISEMENT

“It’s certain that by carrying out other excavation projects in areas never explored before, the discoveries will be extraordinary,” Osanna added.

Kicked off in 2014, the restoration enlisted teams of archaeologists, architects, engineers, geologists and anthropologists and cost $113 million (105 million euros), largely covered by the European Union.

The project was initiated after UNESCO warned in 2013 it could strip the site of its World Heritage status after a series of collapses blamed on lax maintenance and bad weather.

ADVERTISEMENT

But the project has breathed new life into the historic site.

On Tuesday, workers carefully restored ancient frescoes, hues dulled by years of dirt and calcifications, and cleaned off centuries-old tile floors.

ADVERTISEMENT

“You have to be careful not to take off too much,” explained Aldo Guida, who was scratching at the surface of the oxblood walls of the “House of Lovers”, a two-storey home in the complex that was closed for repair after an earthquake in 1980.

“Little by little,” he added, with a smile.

The giant eruption of Mount Vesuvius devastated the ancient Roman city of Pompeii nearly 2,000 years ago, covering everything in its path with volcanic ash.

ADVERTISEMENT

That sediment helped to preserve many buildings almost in their original state, as well as the curled-up corpses of Vesuvius’ victims.

Some of the site has been closed to the public during the restoration, including several “domus” — family residences for the upper classes — that have been since reopened to the public.

The House of Orchards domus features intricately detailed frescoes of fruit trees and birds, while the House of the Ship Europa boasts a sketch of a large merchant ship.

Though the bulk of the restoration work is now complete, director Osanna said running repairs will never truly be over.

ADVERTISEMENT

“It’s a city in ruins,” he said. “The attention we pay to it must never stop.”


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Democrats win another voting rights victory as absentee restrictions struck down in South Carolina

Published

on

On Monday, voting rights attorney Marc Elias reported that a federal court has blocked a restriction on absentee ballots for the upcoming South Carolina primary.

The ruling undoes a requirement that mail-in ballots be accompanied by a witness.

BREAKING: @DCCC, @TheDemocrats, and @scdp score major voting rights victory in South Carolina. Federal Court blocks witness requirement for absentee ballots in June primary.

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

GOP ripped for refusing to remove Trump from office: ‘Folly of that failure becomes clearer by the day’

Published

on

Republicans seeking to keep control of the United States Senate were harshly criticized by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch for failing to remove President Donald Trump from office during impeachment.

"For four years now, as both a candidate and president, Donald Trump has repeatedly attacked America’s voting system, falsely claiming voter fraud any time it suited his needs. In a new low, last week he threatened the federal funding of two states over their reasonable moves to facilitate mail-in voting," the newspaper noted in an editorial published online on Memorial Day. "What does it say that the head of the world’s leading democracy is so intent on undermining that democracy?"

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Fox News commentator slammed for mocking Joe Biden’s decision to wear a mask

Published

on

On Monday, during his observance of Memorial Day, former Vice President Joe Biden donned a face mask in accordance with CDC guidelines — a contrast with President Donald Trump, who has frequently refused to wear a mask even in some places that require them.

But Fox News senior analyst Brit Hume went out of his way to mock how Biden looked wearing it.

This might help explain why Trump doesn’t like to wear a mask in public. Biden today. pic.twitter.com/9l1gw1ljBE

— Brit Hume (@brithume) May 25, 2020

Continue Reading
 
 
You need honest news coverage. Help us deliver it. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1. Go ad-free.
close-image