A STUNNINGLY preserved Pompeii courtyard has been uncovered in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius by a crack team of Italian archaeologists.
The site – which has been buried in ash since the volcano exploded in AD79 – looks identical to how it would have in its Roman heyday.
One stunning picture shows a painting of two coiled snakes – symbols of wealth and happiness.
Romans believed the murals could ward evil from the house.
Another shows a pair of dogs fighting a wild boar, while a peacock stands alone at ground level.
Site director Massimo Osanna said: “The peacock appeared to be walking in the garden of the courtyard. It’s a game between illusion and reality.
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“These extraordinary finds continue to thrill us.”
A site official added: “These colours are intact because they have been buried all these years, but the light and atmosphere will fade them fast unless we protect them.”
Archaeologists said yesterday that they had discovered a tomb from the 2nd century BC at the ancient Greek colony of Cumae, near Naples, which predates the Roman empire.
Wall paintings in the tomb depict a banquet including a naked slave bearing a silver jug.
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