Pork-shaped Pocket Watch of Italian Wealth

Pompeii, although popular, is only one of a few towns destroyed and preserved by the fatal eruption of Mount Vesuvius. On the opposite of the mountain laid the town of Herculaneum, where archaeologists in the 18th century were excavating a Roman Villa that was buried in the deadly volcanic ash, and stumbled upon an unusual find. A pork-leg shaped object with notches in it appeared out of the ash. The small metal object was then cleaned and puzzled the archaeologists as well as gave them a good laugh. The small metal object was regarded as the first-known portable sun dial. The magnificent metal piece


( 3-D recreation of the ancient “pocket-watch”)

showed the true wealth and craftsmanship of the people of Herculaneum, which the town was a luxury summer resort for the elite and privileged. The sun dial proves that the ancient people there showed true understanding of the concept of time and how to keep it.

The 3-D model pictured above was recreated by a 3-d printer that managed to model the slightest bumps, scratches and inscriptions on the metal. Although, the plastic and metal are very different. On the plastic there consists of the piece that casts the shadow on the grid. It was not found on the original metal piece, although another metal piece was found right next to it as if it has broken off and recorded in the 18th century antiquarian’s notes, making the suspicion of a sundial much more viable and gave the artists the right amount of information to recreate it on the plastic model. The model was tested for accuracy and had marks for every month of the year and could tell the hour down to half an hour and if very accurately held, every fifteen minutes. This marvelous piece of ancient technology showed the wit and creativity of ancient people