What are the kinds of artefacts found in Pompeii?

The ancient city was buried for decades, leaving behind a bucket load of artefacts for us to marvel at. Before its disastrous end, Pompeii was a thriving city known for its lavish style. Houses were decorated beautifully, as were the people, blending art into all aspects of their life. After being buried in ash and debris, these artefacts of the city remained, giving us a better understanding of the people thousands of years after their time.


Back in the day, the people of Pompeii saw jewellery as a status item, with the more you had, the higher your status became. This was due to the extreme expense for these ancient objects, with the only wealthy citizens able to afford them. Jewellery artefacts have been a common discovery within Pompeii’s ruins, with archaeologists finding skeletons with bracelets still attached, or even gripping pieces of jewellery in desperation. However, out of all the people found with jewellery, a large majority were men, with only one in ten women found with items. This was due to a large portion of them being slaves, and not being wealthy enough. Yet, there are some slave girls who were found with snake bracelets with the words; “Dominus ancillae sure” which translates to the master to his slave girl. The Jewellery worn was typically gold, with a few gemstones and pearls depending on the piece.


The main artwork found within Pompeii was frescos, which was the most common painting style in that time. Frescos were paintings that were done straight onto the wall, using plaster and water-based pigments to create a long-lasting piece. A lot of these pieces have given us a greater understanding of the people of Pompeii, particularly with comfortability with their sexual desires. Brothels were filled with erotic frescos marketing the services and positions available as well as private homes with frescos depicting sensual occurrences between the gods.


Graffiti is not just a modern trend nowadays, which thousands of graffiti tags found in the city’s ruins. With a public vandalism, advertisements, and even erotic graffiti making an appearance. A large amount of Pompeii’s graffiti is simply an inscription of a name which is still topical today. The oldest known graffiti also happens to be amongst the simplest tag; ‘Gaius Pumidius Diphilus was here.’


Food remnants are one of the unique findings in Pompeii. They helped tell us what types of food these citizens ate, which we might have never discovered without it. One of the most fascinating discoveries was a giraffe bone, which illustrated how the wealthy people of Pompeii sought after the most exotic food for their dinners. Another enthralling unearthing was the preserved loaves of bread, conserved in charcoal, looking as if they just came out of the oven.


During the eruption in 79 A. D., the people were burnt alive by the scorching volcanic gas and were covered in a thick layer of compacted ash and dirt. While their physical bodies decayed over time, the compressed ash remains, forming the mouldings of people. When archaeologist discovers these negatives, they began to create plaster casts. These can see be seen today, and are unforgettable artefacts in the ancient city.

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