The atrium of the House of the Vettii, Pompeii.
Courtesy of the Archaeological Park of Pompeii
Sexuality in Ancient Rome was more preoccupied with power dynamics than it was with gender – as an expert in visual cultures of sexuality explains.
Pompeii is remembered as a place of surprising liberality – but the ‘masturbating man’ is probably a far less lurid tale than assumed.
As they do today, threats of destruction loomed in ancient Pompeii.
Art Media/Print Collector via Getty Images
While they weren’t living through a pandemic, citizens of ancient Pompeii weren’t strangers to societal stress.
New technology mapped the buried ancient Roman site of Falerii Novi. Now archaeologists have started targeted excavation and soil testing to reveal details of life from more than 2,000 years ago.
The Fagradalsfjall volcano in Iceland.
Daniel Freyr Jónsson / Alamy Stock Photo
Research into the bodies of victims of the Vesuvius eruption show how pyroclastic flows affect the human body.
Vines in the Foro Boario vineyard and the amphitheatre, Pompeii.
Pompeii was so famous in the ancient world for its wine other regions made counterfeit wine, sold in imitation ceramic jars.
An Egyptian winged scarab amulet (circa 1070 –945 BC).
Believed to possess magical qualities, amulets were once widely used. They range from amber pendants worn during Denmark’s Mesolithic age to wind chimes found at Pompeii.
Model of Hadrian’s Villa in Tivoli, Italy showing the
poikilé, the large four-sided portico enclosing a garden with central pool.
The plants a Roman chose could say a lot about the person they were.
Parisians watch as their beloved Notre Dame burns.
EPA-EFE/Julien de Rosa
Words are as important as pictures for helping us come to terms with such a huge cultural loss.
Excavations on the site of Rome’s greatest natural disaster can tell us a lot about attitudes to death.
Lava flow moves in the Leilani Estates subdivision near Pahoa on the island of Hawaii, May 6, 2018.
USGS via AP
Fountains of lava from Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano are dramatic, but the most deadly impacts of volcanic eruptions are toxic gases and ash and mud flows.
A fragment of a wall painting showing two lovers in bed from the House of L Caecilius Jucundus in Pompeii, now at Naples National Archaeological Museum.
From phallus-shaped wind chimes to explicit erotica on lamps and cups, sex is everywhere in ancient Greek and Roman art. But our interpretations of these images say much about our own culture.
Brothels in Pompeii were decorated with murals depicting erotic and exotic scenes: but the reality was far more brutal and mundane.
Thomas Shahan/Wikimedia Commons
Though their activities were depicted alluringly in murals, the sex workers of Pompeii were slaves who lived hard lives.
Doomed dinos, but these Psittacosaurs weren’t killed by volcanic ash.
Was there a ‘dinosaur Pompeii’ in China? New research questions the claim.
Ruin of a second-century public toilet in Roman Ostia.
Fr Lawrence Lew, OP
Archaeological and textual detective work is filling in some information about how ancient Romans used and thought about their sewers thousands of years ago.
Teeming with secrets…
The recent announcement that European scientists had pioneered a technique for reading papyrus scrolls from Herculaneum without unrolling them attracted widespread attention. At first glance, this might…
Pompeii and circumstance.
It seems that every time a new film based on historical events is released, there’s a rush to discuss accuracy, realism and what value the film might have for learning anything about the past. This is…
The stolen fresco.
EPA/Ufficio Stampa Scavi Pompei
It was reported recently that a fresco has been stolen from Pompeii. Its absence must have been hard to notice. Flooding had severely damaged the already disintegrating frescoes in Pompeii, so one might…
Before or after dinner?
Pompeii has always been a magical place for me with its vast avenues and huge government buildings, small familiar houses and gardens and, of course, the mummified bodies of town citizens, immortalised…