Garum helps date Pompeii volcanic eruption

Garum, a pungent, fish-based seasoning, used in Roman cooking is being used to help precisely date the volcanic eruption that buried the city of Pompeii.

The Pompeian garum was made with bogues, a species of fish that was common in the Mediterranean in July and August. "Analysis of their contents basically confirmed that Mount Vesuvius most likely erupted on 24 August 79 A.D., as reported by the Roman historian Pliny the Younger in his account on the eruption," Annamaria Ciarallo, director of Pompeii's Applied Research Laboratory told Discovery News.