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Archaeologists have discovered a bakery prison among the ruins of the ancient city of Pompeii, revealing what they consider to be the “most disturbing aspect of ancient slavery.”
The enslaved individuals were used for labor to grind grains and produce bread in a small bakery with windows secured by iron bars and no means of escape to the outside.
The bakery was discovered within a house as a component of a larger undertaking in the Regio IX region of the Pompeii archaeological park in southern Italy. This finding provides further insight into the daily routines of the enslaved individuals of Pompeii, who are frequently overlooked in historical narratives of the ancient city.
The archaeological park statement stated that indentations on the floor were found, indicating the animals were made to walk blindfolded for several hours.
“The area requires us to envision the existence of individuals in a subordinate position,” stated Gabriel Zuchtriegel, director of Pompeii.
This aspect of ancient slavery is particularly appalling as it lacked any form of trust or potential freedom for the enslaved. Instead, we were subjected to brutal violence, as evidenced by the iron bars securing the few windows.
Pompeii was destroyed in AD79 by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius while it was undergoing renovations. The volcanic ash that covered the city is believed to have submerged the home.
Numerous individuals from Rome who were unaware of the fact that they were residing under one of the largest volcanoes in Europe perished.
The volcanic eruption covered the city in a thick layer of ash, preserving many of its inhabitants and structures.
In recent times, there has been a significant increase in archaeological efforts to stop the deterioration and disregard of the site. This is largely attributed to a recent 105-million-euro ($113 million) project funded by the EU. In August, a team of archaeologists unearthed a small bedroom in a Roman villa close to Pompeii, believed to have been utilized by slaves.
A presentation honoring the enslaved individuals of Pompeii will commence at the archaeological site on December 15th.