The ancient city of Pompeii was once a thriving city filled with rich goods and stunning beauty, but after the volcanic eruption in 79 AD, only crumbling ruins remain.
However, the city has left behind numerous clues into their everyday life, with artefacts, buildings, and artwork still being discovered to this day. Archaeologists have uncovered a number of fascinating facts over the years, with one of them being Pompeii’s love for food. Turning the mundane act of eating into a culinary art form, with markets and trading centres found all over the city. One of the best was Macellum, a food market found in the north-east corner of the Forum.
Due to Pompeii’s close distance to the seafront, the city was a bustling trading region for its entire existence. Many of the exotic foods and goods found throughout Ancient Rome was first bought at Pompeii, with the markets being the best place to get these unique items. Macellum of Pompeii was known as major delivery markets, being one of the focal points of the ancient city.
Macellum was once a large covered market, with indoor rooms and large outdoor sections. Several shops were featured on the periphery on the Via degli Augustali and on the Forum, as well as around its large internal court. The market structure was built in several phases, with historians discovering a large section was rebuilt after the earthquake of 62 CE which destroyed large parts of Pompeii. It is even shown that a large part of the market was not fully repaired by the time of the eruption of 79 CE.
The remaining ruins of the market give great insight into the link between economic and public life in Pompeii. But by far the structures greatest feature is the insight Macellum gives us on the everyday culture of the Romans. With food remains, daily used artefacts, and wall paintings all featured here to showcase the Pompeii people’s life.
What you can see today
To this day, a large series of walls, statues, and artefacts can be found in this ancient market. Many visitors opt to follow a professional guide, to get a better insight into the city’s background and market goods. However, simply wandering the structure itself is worth it, with visitors able to imagine the rocky streets filled with the locals shopping for goods, and the crumbling walls once rich shops selling unique treasures.
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