Primary Source

Temple of Vespasian altar

Stone alter depicting a bull being led to a sacrifice


This stone alter found in Pompeii, Italy was part of temple dedicated to the Roman Emperor Vespasian who ruled from 69 to 79 CE. The alter depicts a scene of a bull being led to a religious sacrifice, a common practice in ancient Rome. Objects from the past that have been preserved can tell scholars a lot about the people who created them. Pompeii is a notable example of preserved objects due to the disaster of Mount Vesuvius's explosion in 79 CE which buried the city under several feet of ash. This process preserved objects normally destroyed over time including wooden structures and even graffiti.

This source is a part of the Analyzing Material Objects methods module.


Wmpearl, Wikimedia Commons

How to Cite This Source

"Temple of Vespasian altar," in World History Commons, [accessed May 26, 2023]