Scientists were also able to glean precious new information on gastronomic habits in the town dating from the eruption, which engulfed Pompeii and the neighbouring town of Herculaneum.
The team found duck bone fragments as well as the remains of pigs, goats, fish and snails in earthenware pots. Some of the ingredients had been cooked together rather than prepared separately as a Roman-era paella.
Crushed fava beans, used to modify the taste of wine, were found at the bottom of one jar.
Today is the ancient Roman festival of Saturnalia. Quote from the link:
Instead of working, Romans spent Saturnalia gambling, singing, playing music, feasting, socializing and giving each other gifts. Wax taper candles called cerei were common gifts during Saturnalia, to signify light returning after the solstice.
On the last day of Saturnalia celebrations, known as the Sigillaria, many Romans gave their friends and loved ones small terracotta figurines known as signillaria, which may have referred back to older celebrations involving human sacrifice.
Saturnalia was by far the jolliest Roman holiday; the Roman poet Catullus famously described it as “the best of times.” So riotous were the festivities that the Roman author Pliny reportedly built a soundproof room so that he could work during the raucous celebrations.
One of the dishes served during Saturnalia was globi, which are basically little cheesecake bites. Here is a video that not only provides some history about Saturnalia, but a redaction (a fancy term for a recipe translation) that will allow you to make globi yourself. Enjoy!
It is quite a good series, in which Jones explores some of the most important of these, together with some aspects of Romano-British Society. The first episode takes him the length of Watling Street, the first part of which is now he M2, during which he visits the basement of a Kent tattoo parlour, where the floor shows the original markings. Other episodes shows the roads that crossed at Eboracum, including Dere Street and Ermine Street (parts of the A1(M)), and Hadrian’s Wall. Fosse Way runs from Exeter, through Aqua Sulis and Ratae to Lindum – at the third of these, he stands outside the Cathedral, by the Vaughan Porch, although Richard III resisted the opportunity to emerge and remonstrate with his calumnator (left). At Aqua Sulis, he experienced a massage alongside a female historian, flaunting his own tattoos in…
The almost perfectly preserved remains of two men have been unearthed in an extraordinary discovery in the ancient Roman city of Pompeii.
The bodies of what are thought to be a wealthy man and his slave, believed to have died as they were fleeing the catastrophic eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD79, were found during excavations at a villa in the outskirts of the city, Pompeii archaeological park officials said yesterday.
Massimo Osanna, the park’s director, said the find was “truly exceptional”, while culture minister Dario Franceschini said it underlined the importance of Pompeii as a place for study and research.
The two men, lying close together, are believed to have escaped the initial phase of the eruption when the city was blanketed in volcanic ash and pumice, only to then be killed by a blast that happened the following day.