Piece by piece. With great patience, Antonio Stampone, technical Research Laboratory of the Archaeological Superintendence of Pompeii, is recovering along with the loaves of bread transformed into hard lumps of coal from the cloud of hot gas and ash in 79 AD, poured on the southern slope of Mount Vesuvius.
Patience and glue. The bread in the Vesuvius, in the first century after Christ was marked in a way that it can be easily broken and divided into segments. Panis was called quadratus. The piece of bread could be obtained by breaking the loaf along the lines that branched radially from the center of the form.
With about thirty public bakeries, the pistrina, Pompeii shows, therefore, how the bread was the main food of the time. There were many types of bread: emmer, first quality, second quality, less refined, for legionnaires, for sailors, then that consumed by poor people or dogs. The work had reached perfection and the bread was also claimed in graffiti. “Viator – reciting one of them – Pompeis panem gustas, Nuceriae Bibes ‘or’ traveling, eating the bread of Pompeii but drink wine in Nocera.”
Eighty-one of the loaves sometimes fragmented to become fine powder, were found in 1862, in the oven so-called “Modesto” in the firing chamber again sealed by a little iron.
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A Day in Pompeii, a Melbourne Winter Masterpieces exhibition, was held at Melbourne Museum from 26 June to 25 October 2009. Over 330,000 people visited the exhibition — an average of more than 2,700 per day — making it the most popular traveling exhibition ever staged by an Australian museum.
Zero One created the animation for an immersive 3D theatre installation which gave visitors a chance to feel the same drama and terror of the town’s citizens long ago, and witness how a series of eruptions wiped out Pompeii over 48 hours.
Copyright 2010 Zero One Animation and Melbourne Museum.