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Flashcards in Cities of Vesuvius Deck (22):
1

The physical environment: The geographical setting, natural features and resources of Pompeii and Herculaneum

GEOGRAPHICAL SETTING
Campania- fertile, volcanic plain.
Vesuvius dominates plain. P and H are from volcanic spurts and mounds
Region mineral rich in volcanic soils- supports vines, olives, fruit and sheep
Pompeii was 500m from the coast. Stabiae on one side and Herc on the other
Herculaneum was on bay- 16km North East of Pompeii
“ Then indeed there is that wonderful and life-sustaining and healthy atmosphere that lasts all the year through.” PLINY THE ELDER- NATURAL HISTORY

NATURAL FEATURES:

Pompeii:
Situated on raised area (prehistoric lava flow)
Natural bay- site for port
Sarno river→ water and shiping
Fertile land → farming estates
Hot springs nearby

Herculaneum:
Volcanic plateau→ South west of Mt V
2 streams→ East and West
Small harbours→ down in river bays,
Sheer cliff over sea

RESOURCES:

Pompeii:
Water from Sarno river
Market gardens, orchards, vineyards
Fish in sea → EVIDENCE FROM FISH MOSAIC
Fertile lands→ agriculture, grazing
Port, estuary shipping

Herculaneum:
Water available from streams
Limited port facilities
Main coast road running through straight across town

2

Plans and streetscapes of Pompeii and Herculaneum

POMPEII:
P covers 66 ha. (Surrounded by defensive walls)
Grid pattern not as precisely applied
Greek influence: Layout of streets and roads that divided towns into Insulae
Early history: Defensive stone walls and 8 gateways leading to town
When P became a Roman colony- some sections of walls were knocked down for housing. Lost importance
Roman paving techniques: Raised footpaths on either side of road
Stepping stones provided for pedestrian use. Still have access to wheeled traffic
Larger manufacturing town
Amphitheatre: 20,000 people. Problem with social crisis
Vineyards inside and outside

HERCULANEUM:
Herc: Follows Classical Greek layout. Straight streets divide town into Insulae
Sea walls- large vaulted chambers for boats
Streets had less traffic
More efficient drainage and sewer systems
Roman Law: streets minimum of 5m wide. P met this, but H had 2.5 m in some areas
Narrower streets; less people, no need for carts, smaller trading centre, not manufacturing town
About ⅓ size of P (12-20 ha)
No stepping stones
Remains of double story houses- carbonised timber. People lived upstairs and shops downstairs
“A confused jumble of shops, workshops, crafts, residential and horticultural plots across the whole city” ANDREW WALLACE HADRILL

BOTH:
Via→ main highway
Decumani→ Roads running East to West
Cardines → Roads running North to South
Materials → volcanic; tufa and basalt
Street names→ modern construct E.g. Via Del Abbondanza
Water fountains at intersections/ Leadpipes for water (lead poisoning)

3

The limitations, reliability and evaluation of sources

LIMITATIONS:
Gaps in evidence
Nature of ancient society: gaps about lower class women- no records, few possessions, not written about
Destruction of Eruption
Looting and destruction of sites
Mainly political→ surviving sources
Gaps encouraging romanticizing and speculation. E.g. House of Surgeon

RELIABILITY:
Need to ask context and purpose of sources
Pliny- assumed to be eye witness but letters written from memory years later→ motivated by Pliny’s desire to glorify role of uncle
Graffiti- reveals bias
Commemorative inscriptions usually bias- highlight only positive things about person

EVALUATION:
Consider context in which source was produced
Purpose and perspective of author
How source relates to social and political context

4

The evidence provided by the sources from Pompeii and Herculaneum for:
The eruption

Warnings:
Earthquake of 62 AD→ First warning sign Vesuvius returning to life
“Pompeii, the famous city of Campania, has been laid low by an earthquake”- SENECA- NATURALES, VI
24 August morning→ larger waves than normal, tremors increased intensity, animals agitated, minor steam explosions from V showered fine ash

General info:
Pliny→ 24th August (some historians believe it occurred in November)
Pompeii → more pumice fallout
1st surge → covers Herculaneum
4th surge onwards → Covers Pompeii

PLINIAN PHASE:
Late morning to early afternoon (umbrella shaped cloud moves East)
Accumulation of pumice over P
Day turns into night
By 8pm- heavy pumice fallouts, tremors and electrical storms
“A cloud of unusual size and appearance...It’s general appearance can be best described as being like an umbrella pine…” PLINY THE YOUNGER- LETTERS TO TACITUS
Some Pompeians fled immediately
Many sheltered in sealed rooms and cellars (never escaped)
Herc- many escaped by sea.
Pliny the elder launched a warship to sail across the bay- reached Stabiae

PELEAN PHASE:
1am-8am (25th Aug) Towns of Vesuvius hit by 6 surges ( billowing ash and superheated gases) and flows (volcanic fragments made fluid by high temps)
Herc waited on beach to be rescued- but died in S1 from asphyxiation and thermal shock
Herc sealed forever in S2
Pompeii- People who left it too late were cut down, trampled and felled by masonry. Asphyxiated by ash
Pliny the Elder died on beach in Stabiae- Pliny the Younger and mother escaped Misenum just before the final surge

Most would have died from asphyxiation and thermal shock within 2 minutes of surge
“Respiratory tracts would have become blocked with a plug of mucus and ash or their bodies ‘baked’ in the intense heat.” DR ESTELLE LAZAR
Pyroclastic surge→ Low density, cloud of hot ash and rock; billows over terrain, barely touching ground. Travels at high speeds (up to 300km per hour)
Pyroclastic flow→ Much denser, hotter, dry avalanche of ground hugging molten rock, pumice and gases. Moved slower (50kms per hour)
6 layers in strata → 6 pyroclastic surges

5

Deaths in Pompeii and Herculaneum

POMPEII
Some fled immediately → May have survived if reached safe distance
600 people killed→ roofs collapsed under weight of pumice and rock
People climbed onto roofs→ asphyxiation
People breathed in- very fine ash formed sticky paste, clogged lungs- couldn't breathe
“Most deadly surge (4th surge) occurred at approx 7.30 am- 25th August, killing all who remained in the city. Described burning wind filled with dust and ash that filled the lungs instantly choking and killing all in its path.” HAROLD SIGURDSON
Sigurdson→ 6th surge; strongest, widespread, killed many who attempted to flee

HERCULANEUM
Italian scholars → people died thermal shock
Brains boiled, skulls exploded; intense heat.
Blackened skulls with brain matter
300 people in boat sheds→ still alive 12 hours after 1st blast
Those exposed to 500℃→ dead instantly
“These individuals do not display any evidence of voluntary self-protective reaction or agony.” ALBERTO INCORONATO- UNIVERSITY OF NAPLES
Tooth enamel cracked, charring on bones (flesh vapourised)
Initial vapourisation→ sudden drop in ash temp
Fists clenched in pugilistic pose

6

The economy:
- Trade,
- Commerce,
- Industries,
- Occupations

TRADE
Pompeii commercial trading town. Harbour busy with ships. Herc not so much
Imports→ Wine and pottery
Exports→ Pottery, tiles, garum. wine, olives, bread, grapes
Traded with Egyptians and Greek (Temple of Isis) Gladiators, slaves

COMMERCE
Most streets had shops
Evidence of weighing tables, coins (sesterces)
Rent, taxes collected
Receipts made → wax tablets

INDUSTRIES/OCCUPATIONS
Bakeries (Frescoe of baker and his wife)
Perfume industry (Frieze from House of the Vetti brothers→ cupids making perfume)
Taverns/ Bars/ Brothels
Agriculture→ produced wool, grain, grapes, olives
Fullers/ Dyers → Statue dedicated to Eumachia
Fishmongers→ Garum tanks, fish tanks, seafood mosaic
Actors/Musicians→ Theatre
Markets (Macellum)- aediles→ forum
Food sho

7

Social structure; men, women, freedmen, slaves

SENATORIAL ELITE
Top of social pyramid→ visited area, had villas
Along coast near Stabiae→ aristocracy constructed grand villas

LOCAL ELITE
Wealthy traders, businessmen
Dominated towns councils → filled key municipal offices
Sought to imitate lives of senators
Wealth rather than aristocratic birth gave positions → over years traditions of office holdings established them as leaders of society
Below this class→ ordinary traders, artisans, shopkeepers, farmers with small holdings

THE POPULUS (CITIZEN BODY)
Freeborn men of Roman background, were citizens of P & H
Citizens formed the populus
Could vote at Rome in the tribus Menenia, a voting ‘tribe’

WOMEN
No vote, couldn’t hold public office or sit on town council
Pompeian women → active role in political life on town
Could be educated→ could own property
Family wealth and inheritance→ women become wealthy
Husband could leave wife business to run
Women could own and let out property
“ She keeps copies of my books to read again and again.” PLINY THE YOUNGER

SLAVES AND FREEDMEN
Slaves were everywhere, owned by householders, imperial family, estate owners, businessmen
Sold in business transactions → wax tablets preserved,
Freedmen sometimes became wealthy- bought own slaves
“I suspect she was a slave. There are scars on the upper shafts of her humeri...that means she used these bones for heavier work than she should have.” S.C. BISEL- HEALTH AND NUTRITION AT HERCULANEUM

8

Local political life

Problems interpreting political graffiti→ fragments, ambiguous, some written by professional signwriters
Dating→ No indications of what year notice dates from
Group support for candidates “All the mat makers (tegettari) together beg of you to make Lollius aedile.” (CIL IV: 747)
Only males voted- some not thought worthy of that right (actors, innkeepers)
Electoral notices (epigraphic sources) → most people (including women) politically aware
Pompeii- political activity intense: “Competition for office was so fierce it was harder to gain a seat in the City Council of Pompeii than in the Roman Senate.” CICERO
Executive → Board of 4 ( 2 pairs of duoviri and aediles)
Every 5 years magistrates conducted census
Duoviri→ Administered city (roads, markets, sewer) Maintained order and sponsorship of spectacles and theatre. Responsible for criminal and civil cases
Aediles → Daily administration, roads, public buildings, temples, markets, games
Curia (council) → Controlled all aspects of public life, finances, taxation, public religion, gave instructions to Board
Every march→ election fever, candidates supporters write slogans on walls, women influenced voters

9

Everyday life:
- Leisure activities,
- Food and dining,
- Clothing,
- Health,
- Baths,
- Water supply and sanitation

LEISURE
Cock/ Rooster fighting
Gladiator battles
Baths→ social interactions
Amphitheatre
Exercise → Palaestra
Banqueting → social interactions
Brothels (26)

FOOD AND DINING
Favoured pastimes→ banqueting at home, poorer classes ate in taverns (100 found in Pompeii)
Well rounded, balanced diet (healthy)
Basis→ seafood
Red meat, fresh produce, variety of fruits (orchids)
Tabernae→ wine, fast food outlets
Bakeries→ thermopolium, jars

HEALTH
Lazar- Teeth ground flat from gritty bread
Cleanliness from baths, access to clean water, pipes/aqueduct
Lead pipes→ lead poisoning
Calcium from fish
Palaestra→ exercise
Public toilets→ removal of waste

CLOTHING
Linen came from Egypt, wool made locally
Imprint of fabric in plaster casts
Everyone wore sandals, Only slaves wore hats
Fuller's→ washed clothes, used urine as bleach

BATHS
Frigidarium → cold
Tepidarium → warm
Caldarium → Hot
Social activity→ no privacy issues
Oil applied to body and scraped off with strigil
Slaves, underfloor heating

WATER SUPPLY AND SANITATION
Aqueduct transport water
Castellum→ water storage
Aqueduct → Castellum → (public baths, fountains, toilets, private homes of wealthy)
Herc→ more efficient drainage system
No privacy in toilets → scrubbing brush shared
Good sanitation→ cleanliness and health

10

Public buildings
- Basilicas,
- Temples,
- Forum
- Theatres,
- Palaestra,
- Amphitheatres

Basilica
Most elaborate structure in forum→ where legal and business activities took place
Large hall, 2 storey tribunal built on west side, lower floor→ archives, upper floor→ platform for judges

Temples
Very religious, prayed, made daily offerings, sacrifices
10 found at Pompeii, 0 at Herculaneum→ dedicated to Apollo, Isis, Jupiter, Venus etc

Forum
Large rectangular space (where majority of political, administrative, legal, commercial, religious and social activities took place)
Election of magistrates, religious ceremonies, latest news from rome announcements, trade in goods (grain, cloth, wool) markets, hire of lawyers/doctors,
Pompeii→ forum central focus. North side; temple to Jupiter, Juno and Minerva. Southside; government buildings. West side; Basilica, temple of Apollo. East side; Fish and meat markets

Theatre
Pompeii; Large Theatre (seated 5000), smaller Odeon. Lower tiers, clad in marble→ reserved for elite. Performances→ plays, farces, pantomimes. Odeon→ roofed, acoustics good for poetry readings, concerts
Herc→ small temple located at centre, freestanding structure

Palaestra
Colonnaded rectangular areas→ open grassed space in middle (greek influence)
Exercises, running, discus, javelin competitions. Swimming pool located next to it

Amphitheatre
Used for games; gladiatorial battles (honour the gods), hunts/battles ft wild animals,
Whoever paid for games became more popular→ political purpose

11

Private buildings
- Villas,
- Houses,
- Shops

VILLAS
Large, luxurious, multi-roomed on outskirts of Pompeii and Herculaneum
Also built on coast, owned by wealthy citizens of Rome. E.g. Villa of the Papyri-Herc

HOUSES
Domus/atrium house, atrium-peristyle house, insulae or apartment house, villas
Domus/atrium→ most popular type of house, free standing homes, owned by senatorial or equestrian class
Atrium→ Peristyle centerpiece of wealthy homes. Peristyle gave access to dining/living room
Insulae/apartment→ multi-storied apartments. Not common “Change over time, with a movement from the late republican houses to multiple small independent units” AWH

SHOPS
Most shops located on Via del Abbondanza
Many were rented front rooms of large private houses
Some had back rooms for storage, counters on inside, shelves, Taverns had chairs, tables

12

Influence of Greek and Egyptian cultures: art, architecture, religion

Greek influences→ directly from Greek colonies established in South Italy 7th-6th BC
Hellenistic influences→ From Rome’s conquest and trade with Hellenistic kingdoms of Egypt from 2nd century BC
Trade between Campania and Alexandria (Egyptian port city) → Influence and Alexandrian craftsmen and foreign workers settled in Campania
Toponym of Herculaneum → Greek after Greek hero Herakles
Hellenisation→ architectural innovations e.g. high vestibules, wide atriums, peristyles, large gardens
Columns in House of the Vetti brothers→ Replicated three orders of Greek columns
Mosaic panels in House of the Faun→Represented colourful word of Greek theatre
Adaptations of Greek gods worshipped publicly and privately in P and H
Mystery cults of Bacchus → introduced from Greece + Cult of Isis → originating in Egypt, worshipped publicly and privately (offered more emotional bond with gods)
Greek and Eastern slaves in estates, households and taverns. Many prostitutes were Egyptian
Pompeian theatre→ traditional Greek tragedies and comedies performed
Palaestra (greek gymnasia) → copies of Greek statues of young athletes

13

Religion:
- Temples,
- Household gods,
- Foreign cults,
- Tombs

Religion greatly influenced by Greeks→ greek gods adopted and adapted to suit Roman needs
“The most characteristic feature of Roman religion was its essentially political orientation” E. Cantarella
Each citizen→ political duty to carry out correct rituals to gods (sacrifice and prayer)--> ensure prosperity, good luck, protection for state and people

TEMPLES
Pompeii → approx 10 major temples found in or near Forum. Herc→ 0
Altars found→ suggest sacrifices
Capitolium temple→ Temple of Jupiter; Inside were gods Jupiter, Juno, Minerva→ temple dominated Pompeian forum
Temple of Venus→ oldest and largest. Venus patron goddess of Pompeii
Near forum→ temple of Fortuna Augusta→ held statues of Augustus. → Worship of imperial family was important
Worship of God Apollo introduced into P during 6th century BC. Temple of Apollo, most ancient sanctuary

HOUSEHOLD GODS
Paterfamilias→ Head of household (oldest male) in charge of private rituals inside home
Lares: Protectors of household
Lararium; Shrine to lares → Every shop/home had one. Could be wall niche with figurines(poor) 3D miniature temple lined with marble or painted statuettes (rich) Could be wall painted with gods
Each day/special monthly celebrations→ offerings of wreath or portion of meal to lares, prayers for protection and prosperity said.
Family ancestors honoured and represented as wax masks kept in house.

FOREIGN CULTS
Imperial cult→ Introduced at time of Augustus as new homage
Cult of Isis→ Popular among women→ offered happiness, salvation, consolation from suffering→ 2 daily services at Temple of Isis→ evidence of wall paintings in temple featured Egyptian landscapes, mythology, priests performing their duties
Temple of Isis→ paintings, decorations, furniture→ one of the first buildings to have been totally restored after earthquake→ significance of cult
Cult of Bacchus/Dionysus→ Dionysus (Greek god wine and fertility) first popular than in South Italy became popular as cult of Bacchus→ offered “An escape from worldly reality into mystic communion with the god and the promise of blessed life after death.”L. ZARMATI

TOMBS
Not hidden→ constructed alongside busiest streets and outside walls
8 Necropolises outside walls of Pompeii→ ‘city of dead’ or cemetery
Tombs rarely belonged to individual→ popular to have niches for urns of all the household
Up to paterfamilias→ make sure anyone died in family received proper burial rites to prevent them living on in next life as malevolent entities.
Poor or people with no families→ belonged to funeral club → ensured cremation
Tombs could be plain brick chamber, flat roof or elaborate with sculpted monument
Tombs→ reminded passers by of achievements and social status of dead
Inscriptions provide info about upper levels of society, freedmen, slaves→ must be remembered, people only inscribed what they considered important and what they wanted others to read

14

Changing methods and contributions of nineteenth and twentieth century archaeologists to our understanding of Pompeii and Herculaneum

Pre-19th Century (treasure hunting period, artefacts destroyed)

Count d’Eleouf (1709)
Workmen sunk a shaft → Reached level of stage in ancient theatre
Mined theatre if marble states→ many pieces given to European royalty
Shafts and tunnels dug, gunpowder used→ little care for destruction
Shaft entrances eventually sealed→ difficult to penetrate solidified volcanic material

Charles VII/ De Alcubierre (1732- 1748)
King appointed him to resume excavations at Herc- 1748 no treasure found so dug at Pompeii
Dug more tunnels out from ancient theatre→ broke through painted walls, tunneled through houses, destroyed artefacts,excavated randomly- kept no records
Once a site was cleared of artefacts it was backfilled

Karl Weber (1750)
Discovered Villa of Papyri in Herc→ library of 1800 carbonised papyrus scrolls
Drew up plans, maps of buildings, recorded artefacts and paintings where he could→ believed important to excavate systematically

Francesco La Vega (1764)
Unearthed Odeon (small theatre) in Pompeii and temple of Isis with frescoes
Uncovered building entirely- complete search for artefacts, documenting notable interiors, kept diary

Carl Bonucci (1838)
Herculaneum found forum baths, House of the faun, House of tragic poet,whole city blocks, Stabiae baths in Pompeii
Director of site→ corrupt, no concern for preservation of finds. Theft common and administrative irregularities in museum and excavation.

Horace Walpole/ Thomas Gray (1740)
Englishmen and poet visited Herculaneum (grand tour)

15

19th Century and early 20th Century (improvements in archaeology, systematic, recording info, photography used) political changes

Giuseppe Fiorelli (1860-1875)
1863→ Developed method of plaster casting, preserved positions of dead.
Divided P into insulae, gave each house identifying number. Cleared away ash, earth from previous excavations.
Kept written record, prepared plans for sites

Giulio De Petra (1893-1901)
Excavated House of the Vetti brothers, recreated inner gardens of some houses, restored roofs

August Mau (1893-1901)
Categorised Pompeii wall paintings into 4 main styles. Provided date range for each style→ helped date buildings

Vittorio Spinazzola (1911-1924)
Excavated along Via dell Abbondanza (main street)
Reconstructed upper stories and balconies (from remains of buildings, paintings)
Photography → recorded stages of excavation (helped conservators working to repair 20th century damage to buildings from theft, vandalism, exposure to elements, war)

Amedeo Maiuri (1924-1961)
Uncovered cemetary, fully excavated Villa of Mysteries,
Used mechanical equipment to dig away debris from previous excavations
Put roofs over buildings
Excavations done too quickly, some unrecorded

16

Late 20th Century (multidisciplinary approaches taken)

Estelle Lazar (1986)
Discovered Pompeii plaster casts still had bones inside. Brought CT scans, x-rays on site and MRI scans in Australia.
Can deduce sex, age, appearance, height, general health, status, occupations, cause of death. → Should we disturb human remains

Dr Sara Bisel (1932-1996)
Recreated lives from skeletons→ gave them a story before she finished research (inaccurate)
Discovered occupations, appearances of skeletons→ facial reconstruction, scans, sorted through skeletons
National Geographic paid her to go to Pompeii→ put rings on skeletons it didn’t belong to, moved skeletons (accused of tampering)

Andrew Wallace Hadrill (1983-2016)
Director of Herculaneum Conservation project
Talks about need for conservation and preservation, tourism and modern archaeology ruined sites

Penelope Allison (2005)
Found atrium wasn’t for business→ area contained cupboards for domestic items (pots, spinning equipment
Suggested women, slaves wander in and out all the time→ spaces would be lively and open
Reexamined archaeological records → men typically took paintings, valuables and left the rest

Wilhelmena Jashmenski (1955-2007)
Discovered gardens integral part of everyday life→ most dwellings had space to grow figs, olives, cherries, other fruits and vegetables.
Larger gardens→ commercial uses (vineyards, nurseries)
Gardens sites of religious activities→ animal sacrifices, meditation

17

OVERVIEW OF APPROACHES IN EACH CENTURY

Before 19th Century
Treasure hunting
Pompeii first discovered in 1590’s and excavations began in 1689
Herculaneum first discovered in 1709
No systematic archaeology, Sporadic excavation
Looting, destruction, archaeologists hindering others

Late 19th Century- Early 20th Century
Adopt systematic approach to archaeology
E.g. Giuseppe Fiorelli (grid system of Pompeii, plaster casts)
Early photography/ written recording
Multidisciplinary approach, E.g. August Mau (artwork- 4 styles)
Greater focus on conservation. E.g roofs- however done poorly
Mechanical equipment to dig away debris

Late 20th Century
Multidisciplinary approach
Improvements in technology allow for more to be discovered
Women involved → Creates gender equality in info about site
Moratorium adopted → Need to preserve not excavate
Different materials used to preserve. E.g. Resin

18

Changing interpretations: Impact of new research and technologies

X- rays
DNA
CT Scans
Camera/Photography
3D Computer Imagery
NASA image tech- papyrus scrolls
Thermoluminescence

19

Issues of conservation and reconstruction: Italian and international contributions and responsibilities; impact of tourism

Italian Contributions

The Italian Central Institute for Cataloguing and documentation
Documentation 18000 photographs → painted walls, mosaic floors

Soprintendenza archeologica Di Pompei
Professor Pietro Giovanni Guzzo
Restorations, maintenance of endangered structures→ made priority
Guzzo keeps friendly eye on Pompeii tourists

Via Del Abbondanza Project (2004)
To record and create photomosaics of the 900m Via Dell'abbondanza.
Digital photography to survey and record standing structures

The Neapolis Project: (1980-1982)
Interlink electronic database→ archival documents, archaeological remains
Italian research institute

The Philodemus Project:
Aim→ reconstruct new texts Philodemus’ works on poetics, rhetoric
1752→ workers discovered papyrus scrolls
Multispectral imaging developed→ read scrolls

Great Pompeii Project
Effort to preserve Pompeii and make it accessible to public
2013- European Union pledged £105 million to restore city.

Herculaneum Centre
To promote study, preservation and enhancement of Herculaneum
Construction, preservation and restoration

20

Issues of conservation and reconstruction: Italian and international contributions and responsibilities; impact of tourism

International Contributions

The Houses in Pompeii Project (1977)
Investigate, salvage architectural features, mosaics, wall paintings that have been excavated, but not recorded

The Pompeii Forum project (1988)
Produce more accurate plans/evaluations of surviving remains
Initiated→ architectural plans of forum were inaccurate

The Insula of Menander Project (1978)
Readress deficiencies in early records of insula (hasty, little documentation)
Aim→ draw general conclusions about insula social structure over time and final from in 79 AD
Found→ frequent building changes and boundaries of properties changed over time

The British School at Rome (BSR) Pompeii Project
Led by Andrew Wallace Hadrill
Purpose→ Take 3000m² insula and see what can be discovered
Found→ city not frozen in time. House of Impluvium remodeled in 1st century→ new atrium floors raised.

Villa of Oplontis Project
Aim→ Study 2 villas (Villa of Poppaea and Villa of Crassius) to see how villas changed over time
Found→ wall paintings severely deteriorated over time
Restoration work being undertaken at time of eruption

Herculaneum Conservation Project
David Packard and Andrew Wallace Hadrill
2000→ Packard Humanities Institute pledged to give $10 million a year for 10 years
Purpose→ Excavate, preserve Herc and stop decay, deal with groundwater problem
Study waste→ learn about what people ate, work they did .

21

Elements of destruction

“Pompeii is dying a second death” ANDREW WALLACE HADRILL

NATURAL
Heavy rains→ walls, shops collapse
Interiors never meant to be exposed to weather, are: sun, wind, rain
Light→ fades frescoes, deteriorates carbonised objects quickly
Strong sun→ bleaches, fades paintings
Oil drops, grit, bacteria, mould spores damage
Acid rain→ discolouration, corrosion of surfaces
Weeds/parasitic plants→ grow over ruins
Fungi/algae→ grow where poor drainage→ clog gutters, sewers
Roots→ break foundations, loosen mosaic floors
Ivy→ penetrates plaster, destroys stonework
Pigeons→ acidic poo corrosive on floor, wall decorations, pick at carbonised wood
Feral dogs

Pompeii→ groundwater damages, not effective sewerage
Herc→ surface water drained off house→ deterioration of tepidarium roof (suburban baths)


HUMAN
Early excavations
Allied bombing (1943) walls, columns crash
Incorrect wood replacement→ rot, termites
Modern varnish→ wax can’t breathe
Perspex cases (protect graffiti) create humid dirt trap
Steel roof built House of Mosaic Atrium (Herc) collapsed and broke floor
(1975-2000) → 600 items stolen
Frescoes cut from walls→ robbers
(1997)Heads cut from plaster casts
Tourists walk streets, mosaics→ wears down
Humid breath, camera flashes→ deteriorate wall paintings
People brush up against walls, touch walls/columns→ body oils on ancient surfaces
Rubbish dumped
Graffiti left by tourists

22

Ethical issues: Study and display of human remains

“Human remains should be displayed in a manner consistent with professional standards.” INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL OF MUSEUMS

DISPLAY
Early excavations→ plaster casts considered appropriate for display
Skeletons assembled incorrectly→ alleged ‘last moments’
Herc skeletons mixed up and stored together, not systematically
Pompeii remains→ displayed in rusty, dusty cases, no labelling
Not climate controlled→ camera flashes
Bodies moved and placed together for effect→ false impression of real life situation

LIFE/HEALTH
International Council of Museums→ human remains should be presented with great tact and care for feelings of human dignity
Sewerage in Herc→ balanced diet, everyone ate the same, used fertile resources of region
SOURCES: Seafood mosaic, Bacchus frescoe, Garum tanks

STUDY
On site exhibition will be installed → Copies of skeletons and artefacts will be displayed
Herc- 80 of 300 skeletons found have been removed
Links what diseases were back then to what diseases are now
Sarah Bisel (1980’s) Studied bones and made conclusions about their lives → some conclusions highly speculative (especially identity and occupation of individuals)
Tourists aren't given warning, may be sensitive to deaths
Artefacts→ sold on the market