A Pompeii Bakery

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Illustration

by Penn State Libraries Pictures Collection
published on 13 November 2012

A view of the millstones and oven of a bakery (Pistrinium) in the Roman town of Pompeii which was buried in volcanic ash following the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 CE. The millstones have square sockets in which wooden beams would have been placed and harnessed to mules in order to turn the stones and so grind the grain for flour. Grain was poured into the top of the funnel shaped top stone which rotated around the fixed lower stone. The flour was collected at the base on lead sheets. The arched brick oven had a capacity for 80 loaves of bread.

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