Strange, valuable artwork discovered underneath 2,000 years old volcanic ash

In an ancient Pompeii bedroom, archaeologists have found a fresco depicting a sensual scene between a sensual woman and a swan.

The watercolour scene has retained its brilliant detail and colour despite being buried under the ash of the infamous Vesuvius eruption for almost 2,000 years.

The fresco ‘Leda e il cigno’ (Leda and the swan) discovered in the archeological area in Pompeii. The fresco depicts a story and art subject of Greek mythology, with Leda being impregnated by Zeus – Jupiter in Roman mythology – in the form of a swan

Pompeii archaeological park director Massimo Osanna told Italian news agency ANSA about the legend of Leda and the swan.

He says the scene of the bird impregnating the mythical woman was a common theme in Pompeii interior design.

Mr Osanna went on to praise the fresco as exceptional due to the appearance of the mortal woman looking at whoever’s gazing at the fresco.

He said: ‘Leda watches the spectator with a sensuality that’s absolutely pronounced.’

The fresco was discovered during ongoing work to consolidate the ancient city’s structures after rains and wear-and-tear in past years caused some ruins to collapse.

The flourishing ancient Roman city was buried by the volcanic eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79.

The fresco was discovered during ongoing work to consolidate the ancient city’s structures after rains and wear-and-tear in past years caused some ruins to collapseVesuvius destroyed Pompeii, Oplontis, and Stabiae under ashes and rock fragments, and the city of Herculaneum under a mudflow.

Every single resident died instantly when the southern Italian town was hit by a 500°C pyroclastic hot surge from Europe’s only active volcano.

The excavation of Pompeii, the industrial hub of the region and Herculaneum, a small beach resort, has given unparalleled insight into Roman life.

Archaeologists are continually uncovering more from the ash-covered city.

The flourishing ancient Roman city was buried by the volcanic eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79. Vesuvius destroyed Pompeii, Oplontis, and Stabiae under ashes and rock fragments, and the city of Herculaneum under a mudflowIn May archaeologists uncovered an alleyway of grand houses, with balconies left mostly intact and still in their original hues.

The discovery of the fresco provides yet more insight into how the residents of the doomed city live.

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