Archaeologists Make Incredible, 2,000-Year-Old Artwork Discovery in Pompeii


Archaeologists at the Pompeii Archaeological Park uncovered a miraculous find recently, The Guardian reported. A 2,000-year-old fresco, buried during the volcanic eruption at Pompeii, was found in fairly good condition in the House of Leda, a location famed for its intricate murals and wall art.

Pompeii was destroyed in 79 A.D. when Mount Vesuvius erupted, killing more than 2,000 people and leveling the modern city. It remains one of the most visited archaeological sites in the entire world. Students recently deciphered a similarly aged Herculean scroll found nearby.

The artwork, which is more or less intact except for the top right edge, depicts Phrixus and Helle, two twins from Greek mythology. According to the story, a magical flying ram with a golden fleece saved the twins from their stepmother, who was plotting their assassination. Though Phrixus is able to escape, Helle falls into the sea and drowns. The portrait shows this moment, as Helle reaches up toward Phrixus as she makes her fatal descent into the strait between Europe and Asia.

Pompeii Archaeological Park

According to Agence France-Presse, the fresco was designed to look like a painting hung on a yellow wall. The Pompeii Archaeological Park, which is devoted exclusively to recovering and maintaining the remains of the former city, called the find “magical.”

“History has repeated itself,” said Gabriel Zuchtriegel, the park’s director. “It is a beautiful fresco in an excellent state of conservation.” He reiterated the fresco’s importance to understanding Pompeii’s history, and hopes to make both the fresco and the home in which it was found available for public viewing at some point.

“Witnessing the vibrant colors of freshly uncovered frescoes at Pompeii is a privilege and joy that never fades,” Sophie Hay, an archaeologist with the park, told The Daily Mail. “Seeing the latest discovery of a mythological scene in the context of the room it decorated is no exception.”

You Might Also Like