This loaf of bread was part of an exhibit of artifacts from Pompeii that I saw at the Boston Museum of Science back in February of 2012. This bread was one of many loaves found in a bakery oven, preserved from when the Roman city was covered in layers of volcanic ash when Vesuvius erupted in the year 79 a.d. (You may realize that I exaggerated in the bread’s age. Or rounded. The bread is only 1934 years old, and a few months.)
I found the exhibit to be fascinating for the glimpses of everyday life that were so strikingly preserved. The exhibit was also haunting in that it contained not only relics of life in that city, but forms of many who died. The imprints of their bodies and clothing were found in the cemented layers of ash, and plaster casts were made from these hollows, to reveal the shapes of individuals posed as they were in their last moments of life.