Last Supper in PompeiiBooks
Pompeii, exactly as it was in AD 79, has vanished. In the years after the disaster, survivors returned to recover what they could and looters made off with more. Excavations in the 18th century brought much to light but were conducted without the benefit of modern techniques, and heavy-handed reconstructions were of variable benefit.
On top of this, a hail of different sorts assaulted the city again in the allied bombings of 1943. Yet Pompeii remains an archaeological miracle – one of the most visited historic sites on the globe and our most important portal to the ancient Roman world.
Dr Paul Roberts, Head of the Department of Antiquities and exhibition curator, says: ‘The evocative names given to the excavations (the Villa of the Mysteries; the House of the Tragic Poet) have inspired everything from Victorian exhibitions, swords-and-sandals romances to countless scholarly works. Our fascination with the doomed people of Pompeii and their everyday lives has never waned. What better connection can we make with them as ordinary people than through their food and drink?’