The restoration of the bread of Pompeii

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.

544px-salebreadmannapoliinv9071n01
Fresco from Pompeii, Archaeological Museum of Naples

Pane

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.

oven-in-pompeii
Emiliano shows a brick oven to bake bread
Pistrina SAP-03(1)
Millstone

If you want to know more book a tour with us!

Published by Emiliano's Archaeological Tours

My name is Emiliano Tufano, I am an archaeologist and tour guide. I run an organization providing archeaological and cultural tours in Campania. When I was ten years old I found a piece of painted pottery on a small piece of land belonging to my family, which is located nearby the ancient Greek city of Paestum. For the whole of that day I kept this piece of history in my hands. I remember that it was decorated with a black figured scene of a Satyr driving a biga. The feeling I had when realized it was a genuine antique object was very strong, and I started asking myself many questions about the people who occupied that area across the centuries and, particularly, about the man who made such a beautiful piece of work. Since then I started collecting all sorts of pots and stones that I found while I wandered through the countryside. I used to divide my finds simply on the basis of their shape and color. They were the first steps of me becoming an archaeologist. At school, history was my favorite subject; therefore my decision of which degree course to choose was an easy one, Archaeology. Today, archaeology is my profession and my passion. Throughout the years I developed skills in fieldwork and academic research. I participated as a field director in several excavation projects of fundamental importance across Italy and I was engaged in significant academic research projects in Sicily, Tunisia and Libya. I now fulfill my ambition with a PhD project about the Sicilian prehistory. However, my interests go beyond just the history. I have a strong creative side and I love photography, and I write articles for a newspaper in my local area, play football and enjoy diving. I enjoy traveling and have been to many different countries, where I always make particular efforts to learn as much of the local language and culture as possible. In 2010 I became qualified to work as a tourist guide of the Campania Region, and today I offer guided tours in Italian, English and Spanish. I live my job with passion and professionalism. With me you can visit the wonders of Campania: the Vesuvian archaeological sites of Pompeii, Herculaneum and other beautiful sites, such as the historic centers of Naples, Caserta and Salerno, the Amalfi Coast and Sorrento Coast, all the major churches and museums. Through exclusive and tailor-made tours, according to your requirements, you will receive quality service and cultural enrichment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: