Archaeologists said the discovery was unusual because deceased adults during Roman times were usually cremated. A glass urn with the name of a woman, Novia Amabilis, possibly Secundio’s wife, was also found in the tomb.
“Pompeii never ceases to amaze,” said Dario Franceschini, Italy’s culture minister.
Secundio was a slave and the custodian of ancient Pompeii’s Temple of Venus. After being freed from slavery, he joined the ranks of the Augustales, a college of priests who were in charge of a form of emperor worship.
The fact that he was buried in a tomb proves he succeeded in achieving a good social and economic position.
Furthermore, an inscription dedicated to Secundio on a marble slab found at the top of the tomb makes references to theatre performances in Pompeii that were conducted in Greek.
Gabriel Zuchtriegel, the director of Pompeii archaeological park, said the inscription was “the first clear evidence of performances at Pompeii in the Greek language”.
“That performance in Greek were organised is evidence of the lively and open cultural climate which characterised ancient Pompeii,” added Zuchtriegel.
The excavations in the Porta Sarno necropolis area are a joint project between Pompeii archaeological park and the European University of Valencia.
Dozens of new discoveries, including the remains of people and animals killed by the Mount Vesuvius eruption, have been unearthed in recent years at Regio V, a vast area of the archaeological park yet to fully open to the public.