Archaeologists Unearth Part of Roman Throne
First finding of its kind is decorated with ivory bas-reliefs of gods
By Colleen Barry,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 5, 2007 2:47 AM CST
Undated photo made available by the Italian Culture Ministry in Rome, Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2007 showing the area where a wooden throne was dug out between October and November in the ancient southern Italian...   (Associated Press)
camera-icon View 3 more images

(Newser) – Archaeologists have discovered the remains of a Roman throne in the volcanic ash that buried the city of Herculaneum when Mount Vesuvius erupted in the year 79. Scientists unearthed two legs and the back of a throne, the first ever found. The piece was decorated with ivory bas-reliefs of ancient deities, pine cones and phalluses.

"It's the first original throne from Roman times that has survived until today," said Pompeii's archaeological superintendent. Before now, such furniture had only been seen in artistic depictions. The remnants were found in a first-century house believed to belong to Julius Caesar's father-in-law. The house has also yielded hundreds of ancient documents.