This room pictured above is probably the most impressive room anywhere in Pompeii. The life sized frescoes that have survived in this villa probably represent an initiation into a cult of mysteries (thereby giving the villa its name). The frescoes are unique and we don’t quite see the same kind of life-sized figures anywhere else in the region.
There is also a dog sleeping in the centre of the room.
This dog followed me all the way from the outskirts of Pompeii from near the tombs near the gates of the city to the villa. It lost me a bit inside the villa only for me to find it fast asleep in the most important room in the house.
It was not just the dog- also teenage tourists using their flash on their cameras – flashes that could potentially damage these delicate frescoes.
This is a bit emblematic of the entire problem surrounding Pompeii- namely the chronic shortage of funds to ensure proper upkeep of the monuments. It is a big enough job to maintain what has been excavated already that no new excavations can be done because of insufficient resources.
Even the thousands of tourists walking in do not provide sufficient funds. Another day I will actually talk about the mysteries.