June 21, 2024

Drawings of gladiators believed to have been made by children inspired by watching battles at Pompeii’s amphitheater are among the latest discoveries in the ruins of the ancient Roman city.

The charcoal drawings were found during excavations at I’Insula dei Casti Amanti, a group of houses in Pompeii’s archaeological park that opened to the public for the first time on Tuesday.

Other drawings found on a long wall include the outlines of three small hands, two figures playing with a ball, a hunting scene of an animal that appears to be a pig, and a scene showing depicting two boxers lying on the ground.

A drawing of a hand was among the graffiti found. Photo: Parco Archeologico Pompei

Gabriel Zuchtriegel, the director of Pompeii’s archaeological park, said the drawings were probably made by one or more of the children playing in a courtyard before the city was destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79.

He said: “Together with psychologists from the Federico II [university of Naples], we concluded that the drawings of gladiators and hunters were made based on a direct vision, and not from pictorial models. They probably witnessed battles in the amphitheater and thus came into contact with an extreme form of spectacular violence.”

Archaeologists also discovered the remains of two victims of the eruption found near the door in the House of the Painters at Work, so named because the house was said to have undergone a repaint at the time of the disaster.

The remains of two bodies were also uncovered. Photo: Parco Archeologico Pompei

The Italian Minister of Culture, Gennaro Sangiuliano, said: “More and more, Pompeii is revealing wonderful new discoveries that confirm [the site] as an extraordinary treasury.”

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A banqueting room filled with well-preserved frescoes depicting characters inspired by the Trojan War. unearthed during a dig in April. Other discoveries over the past year include a house that is a cramped bakery where people are addicted are presumably captured to produce bread.

The Pompeii ruins were discovered in the 16th century and the first excavations began in 1748. Pompeii is the second most visited archaeological site in the world.

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