PICS: Pompeii dig uncovers extraordinarily well-preserved Narcissus fresco in ancient atrium

2019-02-15 21:00
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This undated photo provided Thursday, Feb. 14, 201

(Photo: Parco Archeologico di Pompei via AP)

Archaeologists have discovered a fresco in an ancient Pompeii residence that portrays the mythological hunter Narcissus, who fell in love with his own reflection. 

The discovery announced Thursday is in the atrium of a house where a fresco was found late last year depicting a sensual scene between the Roman god Jupiter disguised as a swan and Leda, a queen of Sparta from Greek mythology.

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Pompeii director Alfonsina Russo said that the "beauty of these rooms" has prompted officials to continue to uncover more treasures so that one day the house can be at least partially opened to the public.

Officials noted archaeologists also found inside the ancient atrium a dozen glass containers, eight terracotta vases and a bronze funnel in a space underneath a staircase. Of particular note in the atrium of Narcissus is the still visible trace of the stairs which lead to the upper floor.

According to Massimo Osanna of Archaeological Park of Pompeii, "the scene of the myth of Narcissus, well-known and present elsewhere in Pompeii, is presented in the atrium of the house. The entire room is pervaded by the theme of the joy of living, of beauty and of vanity, which is further underlined by the figures of maenads and satyrs who accompanied visitors inside the public part of the house, as though part of a Dionysian retinue.

This decoration was intentionally luxurious, and probably dated to the last years of the colony, as indicated by the extraordinary preservation state of the colours."

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