Offbeat: Pompeii archaeologists find 'sorcerer's treasure trove', including fertility charms - PressFrom - Canada
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OffbeatPompeii archaeologists find 'sorcerer's treasure trove', including fertility charms

17:31  13 august  2019
17:31  13 august  2019 Source:   abc.net.au

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Archaeologists working in the buried Roman city of Pompeii say they have uncovered a " sorcerer ' s treasure trove " of artefacts, including good-luck charms

Archaeologists working in the buried Roman city of Pompeii say they have uncovered a " sorcerer ' s treasure trove " of artefacts, including The trove was found in what remained of a wooden box. The wood itself had decomposed and only the bronze hinges remained, preserved by the volcanic material

Pompeii archaeologists find 'sorcerer's treasure trove', including fertility charms© Provided by Australian Broadcasting Corporation The haul of artefacts has been described as a 'sorcerer's treasure trove'. (Supplied: Archaeological Park of Pompeii)

Archaeologists have discovered a trove of good luck charms and items used in fertility rituals preserved for thousands of years in the ruins of Pompeii.

The dozens of items included crystals, mirrors, beads, amber, buttons made of bones, amulets, dolls, miniature penises and a small skull figurine.

They were found in the same room as the bodies of 10 victims of the eruption of Mt Vesuvius in AD 79, including women and children.

The artefacts were found inside what remained of a wooden box, which had its bronze hinges preserved by the volcanic material that covered the city after the volcano's eruption.

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The artefacts include dozens of good luck charms , including miniature penises and a small skull figurine, used to invoke fortune and fertility and for protection against bad luck.

By combining traditional archaeology with 3D technology, researchers at Lund University have reconstructed a house in Pompeii to its original state before the volcano eruption of Mount Vesuvius thousands of years ago.

Massimo Osanna, director of the Archaeological Park of Pompeii, told Italian news site ANSA the discovery was like a "sorcerer's treasure trove" of artefacts.

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Pompeii archaeologists find 'sorcerer's treasure trove', including fertility charms

He said they likely belonged to women, and the lack of gold in the box suggested they might have been owned by a servant or a slave.

"They are objects of everyday life in the female world and are extraordinary because they tell micro-stories, biographies of the inhabitants of the city who tried to escape the eruption," Mr Osanna said.

Mr Osanna said the objects contained iconography that invoked fortune, fertility and protection against bad luck.

"There are dozens of good luck charms next to other objects that were attributed with the power of crushing bad luck," he said.

"They could have been necklaces that were worn during rituals rather being used to look elegant."

The trove was discovered in the backyard of the important Casa del Giardino, where frescoes, preserved mosaics and historic graffiti were discovered earlier this year.

The site also contains an inscription that prompted historians to revise the likely date of the Vesuvius eruption, from August 24 to October 24.

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