New Pompeii finds highlight middle-class life in doomed city

A picture provide by the Pompeii Archeological site press office, showing the latest discoveries in the ancient city of Pompeii which is enriching knowledge about the everyday lives of middle-class households. The director of the archaeological site, Gabriel Zuchtriegel, said on Saturday, Aug. 6, 2022, that excavations of rooms in a home first unearthed in 2018, revealed the environment of ordinary citizens of the city, which was flourishing before being destroyed by the volcanic eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D. (Parco Archeologico di Pompei via AP)

ROME (AP) - A trunk with its lid left open. A wooden dishware closet, its shelves caved in. Three-legged accent tables topped by decorative bowls. These latest discoveries by archaeologists are enriching knowledge about middle-class lives in Pompeii before Mount Vesuvius' furious eruption buried the ancient Roman city in volcanic debris.

Pompeii's archaeological park, one of Italy's top tourist attractions, announced the recent finds on Saturday. Its director, Gabriel Zuchtriegel, said the excavation of rooms in a "domus," or home, first unearthed in 2018 had revealed precious details about the domestic environment of ordinary citizens of the city, which was destroyed in 79 A.D.

In past decades, excavation largely concentrated on sumptuous, elaborately frescoed villas of the Pompeii's upper-class residents. But archaeology activity in the sprawling site, near modern-day Naples, has increasingly focused on the lives of the middle class as well as of servants and other enslaved people.