An ancient shrine swallowed by the ashes of Mount Vesuvius almost 2,000 years ago has been uncovered in the ancient city of Pompeii.
The sacred altar space was discovered in a near perfect state of preservation as it had been covered in volcanic ash from the AD 79 eruption of Mount Vesuvius, an explosion of such horrific magnitude that it killed an estimated 16,000 people, instantly. Massimo Osanna, the archaeologist in charge of the Pompeii archaeological site told reporters at the New York Times that the shrine is “very well preserved… A marvelous and enigmatic room that now must be studied at length.”
“The shrine’s walls were painted in a deep blood-red color,” said Osanna, and brought to life with the wonderfully flowing Roman illusionistic style depicting enchanted garden scenes of bright green leafy trees, coiled and twisting serpents, peacocks, birds and bulls. On one wall of the shrine a man is depicted “with a dog’s head” which experts believe is “a Romanized version of the Egyptian god Anubis,” according to the New York Times report. And the shrine was also decorated “with paintings of eggs” which is an ancient Roman symbol of fertility.”