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Last Supper in Pompeii Dr Paul Roberts Monday 16 September 2019

This lecture takes us on a fascinating journey from wheat fields and vineyards to markets and temples, from household tables to toilets and finally the tomb.

We see the influence of the Greeks and Etruscans and visit the fertile fields around Mount Vesuvius where food and drink was produced.

The remains of sacrifices in the villa gardens remind us of the vital role of food and drink in religion.

We explore the fine dining which wealthy Romans enjoyed surrounded by beautiful mosaics and frescoes and thence to the kitchens and cess pits below. From these come amazing new evidence on diet and disease.

Finally, from the remains of those who died at Pompeii, new research means that even in death they tell us of the feasts they enjoyed in life. 

Dr Paul Roberts is the newly appointed Sackler Keeper of Antiquities at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford University. From 1994 to 2014 he was Senior Roman Curator in the Department of Greece and Rome at the British Museum, where he was the driving force behind the major exhibition Life and Death in Pompeii and Herculaneum. At the Ashmolean he worked on an exhibition for 2016 Storms, War and Shipwrecks: Sicily and the Sea- telling the history of Sicily through shipwreck finds around the island. He studied at the Universities of Cambridge, Sheffield and Oxford and lived in Italy for several years, in Milan, Rome and Naples. He has excavated in Britain, Greece, Libya, Turkey and in particular Italy, where he directs excavations in the Sabine hills near Rome. His research focuses on the day-to-day lives of ordinary people in the Greek and Roman worlds. He has accompanied tours to Sicily, the Bay of Naples and Rome and has written books on Roman daily life, Roman Emperors, mummy portraits and Roman glass. He is currently writing a walking tour of Ancient Rome.