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A street in Pompeii (Credit: Graham-H,

Pompeii: Recently excavated streets reveal exquisite murals and ornate gardens

POMPEII’S region five excavations have revealed a startling aray of new houses that are shedding light on this city at the heart of the Roman Empire.

Over the past two years excavations have revealed a street called Vicolo dei Balconi, with houses on both sides.

The most impresive monuments of past civilisation that have been unearthed so far are the House of the Garden and the House of Orion.

The walls of the houses are covered in exquisite murals in terracotta colours.

The House of the Garden

In drone footage of the street, archaeologist leading the project at Pompeii, Professor Massimo Osanna said: “The House of the Garden was named thus because the first large room excavated turned out to be a garden.

“In which we have been able to excavate all the flower beds and make casts of the roots of the plants which have been planted there”.

Facing the garden is a large portico in the Fouth Pompeian Style, with such features as a black plinth with garden images painted on it and large coloums.

Leading off the portico are state rooms and a triclinium, with walls showing paintings of representations of Roman life and mythology linked to love.

The walls are adorned with images of Venus and Adonis and Hercules and Omphale.

A triclinium is a formal dining room in a Roman house.

Eleven victims of the Vesuvius eruption have been found in the house, mostly women and children, and probably having succumbed to the pyroclastic flows from the volcano.

Both the House of the Garden and the House of Orion had what are called Tuscan Atriums, these are covered Atriums, most common in the Tuscany area.

An atrium is a central architectual detail of large Roman houses, these have open roofs, some like the tetrastyle atrium have roofs supported by coloms.

The Tuscan atrium has a smaller opening to the sky and has no coloums to support the roof.

The House of Orion

The other residence that was excavated seems to also be owned by a member of the elite.

It has been called, The House of Orion because of the murals found there.

One very details mural shows a half-man, half-scorpion figure with butterfly wings.

The House of Orion sits opposite the House of the Garden, which contains a stunning mosaic tiled floor with an image of a cobra, from which emerges a scorpion that kills Orion.

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