The queen of cereals, wheat reveals Roman society in a whole new light: from harvesters pushed by donkeys to the public distribution of wheat; from bread to accompany oysters to the official control of weights and measures, these surprising discoveries reveal the major dietary, economic, commercial, political and even religious orientations of the Romans. More than just crumbs, wheat reveals an essential facet of Roman society.

“Le Blé, l’autre or des Romains” brings together around a hundred objects from collections mainly in France, Italy, Hungary and Switzerland. Serps, ploughshares, millstones, cake moulds, horns of plenty, reliefs representing the goddess Ceres, instruments for checking weights and measures and many other objects plunge visitors into the intimacy of a civilisation. The discovery of these objects, some exceptional, others simply moving, is done in the light of explanatory panels, a video reconstructing the wheat harvest or a reconstructed Pompeian bakery… You can even try your hand at handling a hand-held millstone, and there are a number of games for young visitors.

This exhibition was originally conceived in 2010 by the Forum Antique de Bavay, the archaeological museum of the Département du Nord.