The Roman city of Pompeii was famously destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius on August 79. However, the deadly blanket of ashes and pumice that fell on the city preserves its remains, including its inhabitants, continuing to reveal details about this incredible city through archaeological investigations centuries later.
The latest discovery is a tomb from the last decade of Pompeii that contains the unusual discovery of partially mummified human remains. This discovery by the Archaeological Park of Pompeii and the European University of Valencia is very unusual because it was the custom at that time to bury children and adults.
The cemetery has a marble slab named Marcus Venerius Secundio, believed to be the identity of the body found. Analysis of the bones showed that he was over 60 years old. The mummified remains remain in an incredible state, with hair and an ear still visible. Professor Llorenç Alapont of the University of Valencia said in a statement, “We still need to understand whether the partial mummy of the death was due to intentional treatment.”
“Fabric analysis can provide more information on this subject. From the source, we know that some textiles like asbestos were used for embalming. In the burial chamber, they also found two glasses of unguentaria (a container of ointment), numerous pieces of cloth, and two movie jugs where two people were cremated. One of them is described in a beautiful glass jar by a woman named Novia Amabilis.
The name Marcus Venerius Secundio was already familiar to archaeologists because it was found on a banker’s wax tablet. He was a public servant and custodian of the Temple of Venus, gaining wealth and high social status after his release. Among the details of this tomb, there is an inscription that has finally confirmed a long-standing theory about the city. The epigraph states that Venerius “gave Greek and Latin Ludi for four days.” ” Ludi Gracie should be understood as a performance in Greek,” explained Gabriel Zuchtriegel, director of the Archaeological Park in Pompeii.
“This is the first clear evidence of Pompeii’s performance in Greek, which was previously estimated on the basis of indirect indicators. Here we have another tessera of a large mosaic, such as the multi-ethnic Pompeii of the early Imperial era, where the Greek, the lingua franca of the Eastern Mediterranean, is Latin.