On 24 August 79 AD, Mount Vesuvius erupted explosively, burying Pompeii under a crust of volcanic ash. For the next seventeen centuries, the city would remain lost, forgotten and preserved, sealed in a time capsule.
Pompeians ate bread with most meals — with fruit at breakfast, at lunch and dinner dipped in olive oil or used to sop up sauces and stews. It was hard bread, made from coarse flour.
The poor couldn’t afford raised, yeasty loaves like this one; they ate unleavened bread, similar to pita bread. This carbonized loaf, found in an oven at Pompeii, must have been left untended when Vesuvius erupted.