PASQUALE SORRENTINO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PASQUALE SORRENTINO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Dining room of a Roman villa, Herculaneum, Italy. This is the excavated triclinium, or dining room, of the Villa of the Papyri. There is a coloured mosaic on the floor. The villa was owned by Julius Caesar's father-in-law, Lucius Calpurnius Piso Caesoninus. It gets its name from a library found within it that contained 1800 papyrus scrolls, carbonised and preserved by volcanic ash. The ancient town of Herculaneum was destroyed in the eruption of the volcano Vesuvius in 79 AD. However, the thick layer of volcanic ash that buried the town preserved buildings, bodies and other artefacts.
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