Archaeologists have discovered a small bedroom in a Roman villa near Pompeii that was almost certainly used by slaves, throwing light on their lowly status in the ancient world, the culture ministry said Sunday.
The room was found at the Civita Giuliana villa, some 600 meters (2,000 ft) north of the walls of Pompeii, which was wiped out by a volcanic eruption of Mount Vesuvius nearly 2,000 years ago.
In a video released by the culture ministry, the Director of Pompeii Archeological Park, Gabriel Zuchtriege explains that the room contained two beds, only one of which had a mattress, two small cabinets and a series of amphorae and ceramic containers, in which the remains of two mice and a rat were found.
Materials such as furniture and fabric, covered by the devastating blast of rock fragments, gas, and ash from Vesuvius, decomposed over the years, leaving a void in the debris.
When filled with plaster, this void reveals the original shape and contours of the long gone material, including the outline of a crumpled blanket left on the bed netting.
Excavations at the Civita Giuliana villa were carried out in 1907-1908, and then again from 2017, when police realized the site was being plundered by illegal diggers.