Over the summer, Pompeii excavations revealed gold coins, a Greek skeleton, and an interesting toolkit.
They found the toolkit in what might have been a fertility clinic, midwifery, or Love Doctor’s office, although the box and its contents are being called the “sorceress’ toolkit.” The tiny treasures within include fertility statues, semi-precious stones, holed stones, skulls, and mirrors. Although we can only speculate about the specific use of any of these items, we might be able to find the ancient owner and reunite the toolkit with the “sorceress” using DNA. The volcano entombed ten victims in one of the clinic rooms. Perhaps one of them is the toolkit owner.
Archeologists exhumed a gray-haired gentleman from a tomb in a Pompeii cemetery and tested his DNA. He was of Greek origin. This exhumation tells us more about Greek cultural presence in the Roman city. Inscriptions tell us that the man was a former slave who, once freed, attained a level of wealth. This discovery shows that former slaves could achieve real wealth and that their early life stations did not prevent large financial achievements. It seems that having been a slave was not a hindrance to wealth building for this individual, although we cannot apply a single success story to an entire civilization. Upon his death, the sixty-year-old man was quite wealthy and a custodian of The Temple of Venus. His name was engraved on a marble slab affixed to his tomb: Marcus Venerius Secundio.
In another Pompeii excavation, an adolescent girl was discovered in the back of, what appears to be a bronze statuary shop. She had three gold “coins and [a] gold-leaf-foil pendant, in the shape of a flower” in her possession. Archeologists found evidence that suggests nearby areas were looted shortly after the Vesuvius eruption, but somehow this girl and her treasure escaped the robbers.
As long as there are cities buried in ash and ships lost at sea, treasure hunting will continue. Here at Pendant and Ring we hope continued efforts to uncover our collective past will result in a greater understanding of where we come from, what we’ve come through, and how we can build a more inclusive and prosperous future.
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