By Dr Joanne Berry
Last updated 2011-02-17
The lava mills and the large wood-burning oven identify these premises as a bakery. Each mill consists of two mill-stones, one stationary and one hollow and shaped like a funnel. The funnel-shaped stone had slots, into which wooden levers could be inserted so that the stone could be rotated; these can be seen in the photo.
Each mill would have been operated either by manpower or with the help of a donkey or horse (in one bakery, the skeletons of several donkeys were discovered). In order to make flour, grain was poured from above into the hollow stone and then was ground between the two stones.
In total, 33 bakeries have so far been found in Pompeii. The carbonised remains of loaves of bread were found in one, demonstrating that the oven was in use at the time of the eruption in AD 79.
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