Donnerstag, 21.03.2019 10:38 Uhr

New excavations in Pompeii

Verantwortlicher Autor: Carlo Marino Rome, 26.03.2018, 13:11 Uhr
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Rome [ENA] The King of Naples and Sicily Carlo di Borbone began excavations in Pompeii in 1748, as a way of expanding the fame and prestige of his emerging Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. Digging proceeded at irregular intervals, here and there at random; it was several years before the site was identified as Pompeii, and even then there was no systematic town plan. The first pieces to be exposed were part of the necropolis

outside Porta Ercolano, the temple of Isis and part of the theatres quarter. During the French occupation of Naples, 1806-1815, there was much more activity on the site, but with the restoration of the Bourbons archaeological site excavations gradually decelerated again. Work was concentrated on the area of the amphitheatre and the Forum, as well as around Porta Ercolano and the theatres. The discovery of the House of the Faun incorporating the large mosaic depicting Alexander the Great in battle caught the imagination of people all over Europe and after the Unification of Italy in 1861, the appointment of Giuseppe Fiorelli as director marked a decisive point in the excavations.

Henceforth the site was explored scientifically, linking up the various features that had been exposed, detailed records were kept, and the wall paintings were left in situ, rather than being detached and taken to the museum in Naples. Major new finds have been unveiled for the 270th anniversary of the discovery of the first remains of the ancient city buried by ash and rock following the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD. The local archaeological authorities in this occasion presented major new excavations in the Regio V area launched under the auspices of the ongoing conservation project Great Pompeii.

"Our aim was to resolve the instability of the excavation fronts in this area, which had a history of collapses," said special superintendent for Pompeii Massimo Osanna according to ANSA, no.1 Press Agency in Italy. "The work involved the reshaping of this part of the archaeological site. Then when we started digging we found remains of public and private areas, gardens and porticoes that we did not think we would find. It is the most important dig in the post-war period," he continued. "And, for the first time as academics, we have come across objects, plasterwork and frescoes that have never been restored, that are in their original shape and colour without having been tampered with in past restoration.

Now we also have the opportunity to carry out conservation work using the most advanced techniques, materials and experiences," Osanna added. The work is expected to take two years at a total cost of 8.5 million euros and the area will remain open to visitors for the duration. Archaeologists have already identified an open area that they believe was a garden whose function will be better examined through palaeobotanical analysis. The south-eastern corner of the 'garden' has already revealed several amphorae, whose type and contents are now being studied.

Nearby the street that ran alongside the House of the Silver Wedding is coming to light with its raised pavements and the accesses to the buildings along it. These include the entrance to a domus with frescoed walls and panels against a red background with the painted image of a pair of dolphin at the centre. Meanwhile, the director-general of the Great Pompeii Project, Carabinieri General Mauro Cipolletta, confirmed plans to bring high-speed railway services directly to the site. "The project hasn't been shelved but it needs to be studied in depth, together with the elimination of the coastal railway line that currently separates to area from the sea," Mauro Cipolletta declared.

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