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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