Recreating The 2,000-year-old Bread from Pompeii

By Deb Street

In 79 AD a deadly eruption ended the history of small but wealthy Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Tons of falling debris filled the streets until nothing remained to be seen of the once thriving communities.

There were casts made from impressions of bodies in the ash deposits had been recovered from this magnificent city of Pompeii.There were also casts of jeweler, mosaics, gladiator helmets, medical equipment, and even food... food carbonized and preserved for almost 2000 years.


This one loaf of bread (photo above) was one of many preserved. What made it unique from the rest is that it has a stamp: ‘Property of Celer, Slave of Q. Granius Verus’. We do not know if the slave survived the cataclysm, but we do know that he was a good baker - with a quality stamp.

The British Museum asked Giorgio Locatelli to recreate the recipe as part of his culinary investigations for 'Pompeii Live from the British Museum'.

Credit: The British Museum