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26-Jul-2019 10:59

Ecce panis---try your hand at the kind of loaf that Mel Brooks’ 2000-year-old man might have sunk his teeth into. In 1930 a loaf of bread dating to AD 79 (the year Vesuvius claimed two prosperous Roman towns) was excavated from the site of a bakery in Herculaneum.

Eighty-three years later, the British Museum invited London chef Giorgio Locatelli, above, to take a stab at creating an edible facsimile for its Pompeii Live exhibition.

While we don't know for sure how tall the average height would have been in Shandong 5,000 years ago, European males in the period are thought to have only stood 1.65 metres (5 ft, 5 in), so it's clear these 'giants' were definitely unusually tall for their time.

Fang's team has been conducting the dig in Jiaojia village in Zhangqiu District, Jinan City, since last year, and have so far excavated the ruins of 205 graves and 20 sacrificial pits, alongside 104 houses.

That the defining feature of humans — our large brains — continued to evolve as recently as 5,800 years ago, and may be doing so today, promises to surprise the average person, if not biologists.

Locatelli speculates that the wedges could be used as monetary units, but I suspect it’s more a business practice on par with pizza-by-the-slice.

(Nowadays, Roman pizza is sold by weight, but I digress.) The crust bears a telltale stamp.

Granius Verus.’ To me, this suggests the possibility that the bread was found in a communal oven.

Locatelli also introduces a Flintstonian vision when he alludes to specially-devised labor saving machines to which Roman bakers yoked “animals,” presumably donkeys…or knowing the Romans and their class system, slaves. Here is a conversion chart for those unfamiliar with metric measurements.

That the defining feature of humans — our large brains — continued to evolve as recently as 5,800 years ago, and may be doing so today, promises to surprise the average person, if not biologists.Locatelli speculates that the wedges could be used as monetary units, but I suspect it’s more a business practice on par with pizza-by-the-slice.(Nowadays, Roman pizza is sold by weight, but I digress.) The crust bears a telltale stamp.Granius Verus.’ To me, this suggests the possibility that the bread was found in a communal oven.Locatelli also introduces a Flintstonian vision when he alludes to specially-devised labor saving machines to which Roman bakers yoked “animals,” presumably donkeys…or knowing the Romans and their class system, slaves. Here is a conversion chart for those unfamiliar with metric measurements.But geologists on his team wanted to study the landform under the mound, so “we just kept going down,” he says.