In early August 2021, in Pompeii, the tomb of a certain Marcus Venerius Secundio, who was about 60 at the time of his death, was discovered. There are traces of green and blue paintings on the walls of the tomb. In the burial chamber, there were well-preserved bones of the deceased.
Fragmentary white hair on the head and left ear have also been preserved – scientists still do not know whether this is an accident or deliberate mummification of the scalp.
The find is unusual in that it dates back to the 1st century CE, and at that time cremation was rather dominant in Roman society. Researchers suspect that the man may have been of Greek descent, as ancient Greeks believed that only burying the body would guarantee life after death.
There was a marble plaque on the front of the tomb, which states that the man was a freedman, the guardian of the temple of Venus and the organizer of Greek and Latin theatre performances. The man was also a member of the priestly college “Augustales”, which looked after the cult of the emperor.
Examination of the preserved skeleton showed that the man did not perform heavy manual work and was in good health.
Two urns were also found in the tomb, one of which contained the ashes of a woman named Novia Amailis, who was probably the man’s wife; and the coin is commemorated by the Greek games organized by Nero.