September 24, 2021

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The exceptional invention of the mummy of a rich liberated slave

Archeology – After being an imperial priest, the man died in his old age, about ten years before the city’s volcano was destroyed. Well preserved, there are remnants of hair in its skeleton.

The sea breeze of the bay Naples Often works wonders for health, especially when the volcano is covered with ash, its fall will always freeze some of the unfortunate who are trapped in the terrifying scene. Than well known Vesuvius eruption In 79, it was a completely different context, which this time allowed archaeologists Pompey And the University of Valencia, in recent weeks, unearthed an unusually well-preserved skeleton during excavations in the metropolitan area of ​​Porta Sarno. Better than the simple discovery of this 2000-year-old Romanian well-preserved body, its exact identity has been established by archaeologists and inscription experts involved in this campaign. The deceased was identified as Marcus Venerius Secundio. He died in his old age, about ten years before the city’s volcano was destroyed, and he was an imperial priest.

In the sealed chamber of a monumental tomb excavated in the eastern suburbs of Pompeii, on the Roman road leading to Sarno, the body of Marcus Venerius Secundio was naturally mummified for many years, followed by his burial for centuries. If this explains its exceptional security status, it is unlikely that it would have helped its mummification in the slightest. “We have not yet determined whether the partial mummification of the deceased was intentional.“, Loren Lap Albond, Archaeologist at the University of Valencia, underlined in a press release from the Pompeii Archaeological Park. “From the sources, we know that some textiles like asbestos were used for embalming.”

The Roman, who was over 60 years old when he died, had some thin traces on his ears, like the disheveled hair of a respectable old man. “Even for those like me who have long specialized in archaeological archeology, the extraordinary wealth that this tomb gives us, from the inscription to the burial, to the osteological remains and its painted facade, is very simple.”, Welcomed Llorenç Alapont.

From the common slave to the prosperous priest

Thanks to the inscription engraved on the outside of the tomb, Latin archaeologists were able to understand the main features of this ancient image without much difficulty. Long before his destruction among the notables of Pompeii, Marcus was a public slave, a literate slave attached to the service of magistrates, in his case the Temple of Venus. Freed from slavery, he later joined the famous Augustus College, which was responsible for the imperial worship of the flames – the priests. It was created during the reign of Tiberius, after the death of the first emperor Augustus in 14 ap. However, in the archives of the Pompeian banker Cecilius Giocondas, preserved in the form of a wax tablet, there is no direct evidence to establish the source of the enrichment of Marcus Venerius Secundio. In Porta Charno.

Marcus Venerius Secundio sponsored four days of Greek and Latin games in Pompeii, including performances, banquets, stage games, athletic competitions, sacrifices and theatrical performances in Greek. Significant luxury for an ex-slave. In addition to the biography of the deceased, this document will provide the first direct evidence of the use of the Greek language at a public event in Pompeii.There is The century of our era. “Performances were organized in Greece for the cultural, dynamic and open climate of ancient Pompeii.“, He said Gabriel Jugtrial, Director of the Pompeii Archaeological Park, in a press release.

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An “exceptional” grave

Unlike the most notable decorations of the Roman villas of the Vesuvius region, this rich Roman tomb – in a residential form – was painted in blue and green. It still bears witness today, from its 2000-year-old height, that it was washed away in the appearance of the prosperity of the liberated. Funerals also impose it on a pair of balsamic – small mugs – as evidence of the presence of some traces of glass and cloth. Other notable remains include two cinema urns calculated by archaeologists, one of them, “A Beautiful Glass Mug”, Associated with a woman named Novia Amabilis, which was identified by another inscription.

Most unusual, the body of Marcus Venerius Secundio was not cremated, ordered by the traditional funeral rites of his time, but preserved within the monument. The hermetic sealed area he discovered was located in a small, unadorned cubicle. According to the recommendations of the archaeologist Massimo Osanna The director-general of Italian museums and the former director of the Pompeii Archaeological Park may have felt alien to the city’s social structure. The whole tomb has not yet been given all its secrets. The Italian Minister of Culture, Dario Francescini, summarizes his reaction to the discovery of the tomb of Marcus Venerius Secundio: “Pompey never surprises us.