Pompeii’s Unearthed Stash of Ancient Charms and Amulets

When Pompeii met its sudden end more than 2,000 years ago, the city was buried with many treasures intact. With every archaeological dig there, remarkable insight into Roman life is revealed. A recent dig inside the House of the Garden unearthed the remains of 10 people and a collection of gems, beads, shells and amulets—once housed in a wooden box. There are phallic charms oftentimes worn by boys to ward off evil, seashells for fertility, and gems engraved with various gods. While they vary in size and purpose, Drew Wilburn of Oberlin College (a researcher studying the ancient Roman practice of magic) says they not only “show us what these individuals were doing at this time, but also the range of objects that were used in these rituals… Finding magic and evidence of the practice of rituals like this, it’s pretty uncommon.” Read more at Atlas Obscura.