Home / Funny / Viral / Existence Of Pizza Discovered In Ancient Pompeii Mural


Pizza is the perfect food: hearty, aromatic, infinitely varied in the filling. This Italian delicacy conquered the world in the last centuries of globalisation and  remains a national treasure of Italy, especially Naples. So, naturally, the pizza-loving world was thrilled when a new  mural in Pompeii, an Italian city frozen in time by a volcano, appeared to depict what appeared to be a classic deep dish. In AD 79  ash from a nearby volcano fell on the Roman city of Pompeii, carving many scenes of everyday life in stone. These scenes have been unearthed over the past two centuries and have taught the world much about ancient life, including ancient foods. Work on the huge site still continues.

The house next to the bakery was recently excavated revealing three human skeletons next to the oven in which the food was baked. An item appears on the wall that may have been baked in a similar oven - possibly a pizza. However, the delicacy isn't pizza, which the ancient Romans couldn't make in the modern sense. In fact, the fresco depicts a type of filled flatbread that is a distant precursor of later bread and filling combinations.

A crispy plate with toppings lies on a silver platter with a silver wine goblet. While it looks just like a modern-day pizza, there are several reasons why it might not be your favourite food. First, the  tomatoes used in today's dish were not brought to Europe until the colonisation of America, where tomatoes originally grew. Even a fresco painted 2,000 years ago would hardly contain mozzarella cheese. While the Romans had similar cheeses, modern mozzarella is a more recent invention. Instead, the dish depicted on the ruins is  focaccia  with pomegranates and dates, seasoned with spices or pesto. While similar in structure to a pizza, it would certainly be a different dining experience.

However, like pizza in its early days,  fruit tortillas were humble food for humble people. The director of Pompeii, Gabriel Zaunrigel, noted the contrast between the "modest and simple food" and the "luxury of the silver trays" in the mural. "In this context, how can we not think of pizza, which was also born as a 'poor' dish in southern Italy,  has now conquered the world and is also served in starred restaurants," he explained proudly. Therefore, viewers may confuse this dish with pizza, but they have the right to recognise an important part of Italian history.

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