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Secrets of Pompeii's Greatest Treasures

In another episode aired on Channel 5, Bettany heads to the Ancient Roman City of Pompeii. Once compounded by volcanic ash, now a treasure trove of history. Almost 2,000 years on, Bettany explores the city to find remnants of the Roman empire, revealing the secrets of those who lived there, and really how different ancient Rome is to our world today.

Exploring the villas usually off-limits to the public and the chilling remains of those that tried to escape the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79AD, Bettany builds up a perhaps not so idyllic picture of life in Pompeii all those years ago.

Among some of the treasures, is the world-famous “masterpiece”, the Cave Canem 'beware of the dog' mosaic, one of the most imitated and celebrated artworks in the world. We also establish the importance of animals to the ancient Romans, as pets but also as guard dogs, just like we have today.. By carefully examining bones of 113 dogs and comparing them with the results of the mosaics, researchers have been able to piece together the identity of the canine guards in Pompeii.

Bettany also tells viewers that while Pompeii was luxurious and civilised place to live, crime was also extremely common, so much so that people often didn't go out at night, for fear of being in danger .


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