Archaeologists in Pompeii have discovered a room that officials say offers ‘a very rare insight into the daily life of slaves’ in the ancient Roman city.
The excavation of a villa in the ruins of the historic volcanic eruption revealed a cramped dormitory and storage room with adjustable Ikea-like beds.
Italy’s culture minister, Dario Franceschini, said the find was ‘an important discovery that enriches the knowledge of the daily life of ancient Pompeiians’ in particular the level of society of which ‘still little’ is known.
The room was discovered in a villa in the Pompeii suburb of Civita Giuliana, just a few steps from where archaeologists in January discovered the remains of a well-preserved ceremonial chariot.
The room, with just one high window and no wall decorations, contains the remains of three beds made out of wood.
Italian press reports likened the ancient finds to ‘an Ikea model for the ancient world’ because of the adjustable wooden planks which could be changed depending on the size of the person sleeping in the bed, according to The Telegraph.
The adaptable beds, two of which measured nearly six feet and one just over four feet, possibly indicate that a family with a child had lived there.
Gabriel Zuchtriegel, the director of Pompeii Archaeological Park said: ‘We can imagine here the servants, the slaves who worked in this area and came to sleep here at night.
‘We know that it was definitely a life in precarious conditions.’
Nearby to the beds, a wooden chest contained metallic objects and textiles that ‘appear to be part of harnesses for horses,’ according to the archaeological park.
There also was a wooden steering element for a chariot.
Chamber pots and other personal objects were under the beds, while eight amphorae, an ancient vessel used as a storage jar, were in a corner, suggesting storage for the household.