Research on pottery production at Pompeii has begun as part of the Centre Jean Bérard (CNRS – EFR) project on “Craft working and the economy at Pompeii”.
The study was undertaken in collaboration with the Superintendency of Pompeii and financed by the French Foreign Office via the Centre Jean Bérard and the Centre Camille Jullian (Aix Marseille Université, CNRS).
Pottery production in Pompeii is principally illustrated by two ateliers. The first is situated outside the walls, by the Porta Ercolano necropolis, at n. 28-30 of Via dei Sepolcri. The excavations carried out in the atelier were part of a wider project entitled “The organisation, management, and transformation of a suburban zone: the sector of Porta Ercolano in Pompeii, between funerary area and commercial space”. The excavations undertaken between 2012 and 2016 made it possible to reconstruct the production chain of the potter who was working here at the time of the eruption.
In 2016, the research programme was extended to a second atelier situated in Regio I, insula 20, 2-3, by the Porta Nocera. This was an atelier_- shop that occupied several rooms of a Republican domus. The complex was investigated in 1958-59 by A. Maiuri who uncovered two kilns, a settling tank, and some of the products made there. Indeed, 61 lamps, 24 moulds, and over 100 frittili were found. In the room facing onto the street, probably the shop entrance, the presence of a bench was noted and interpreted as a shop-counter. Moreover, the workshop was also in direct communication with a series of spaces destined for wine production. In 1973, G. Cirelli Irelli dug a number of control trenches that were published with the lamps in 1977.
The principal objective of extending the research to the Porta Nocera atelier was to make a transversal study of pottery production at Pompeii in 79 A.D., comparing the two production complexes.
The 2016 research was undertaken, via cleaning and small sondages, in order to study the part of the domus and the organisation of the production structures attached to it.
The production structures were installed in the rooms of the domus facing onto the street, occupying a surface area of just over 100 m2 (11.70 × 9 m), divided between four rooms. In the room facing the road, probably the shop entrance, a bench interpreted as a shop counter was noted and on the opposite side two tanks interpreted as being for the settling and preparation of clay and for cooling the tools. Two kilns were excavated in the interior rooms. The smallest was circular with the firing floor supported by a single pillar, while the large kiln had a vertical firing chamber, quadrangular plan and firing floor on supporting arches. Two other rooms are difficult to interpret.
The excavations carried out in the kiln room further clarified the atelier’s function. Indeed, the remains of a potter’s wheel emerged, which had not been discovered during the mid 20th century exploration. It was formed by an Italic amphora fragment inserted into the ground, thus creating a cavity, at the centre of which were the negative remains of the fixed axle for the wheel. This is the fifth potter’s wheel discovered at Pompeii; the first four were found in 2014 in the Porta Ercolano atelier. This discovery completes the panorama of structures used in the production line. Furthermore, during the cleaning of the area in front of the kilns, several layers were identified and investigated that produced a large quantity of pottery indicating the type of production that took place in this atelier.
All of the collected data has enabled the reconstruction of the atelier’s history and to define with greater precision the organisation of the spaces associated with it. This research will be completed in 2017.
- S. Zanella, L. Cavassa, N. Laubry, N. Monteix, G. Chapelin, A. Coutelas, A.D. Ryrko, M. Errera, L. Gerardin, B. Lemaire, R. Macario, F. Ortis, V. Pellegrino, G. Sachau-Carcel
- Annalisa Capurso – Soprintendenza Archeologica di Pompei
- Fabio Galeandro - Soprintendenza Speciale per i Beni Archeologici di Pompei
- Grete Stefani - Soprintendenza Speciale per i Beni Archeologici di Napoli e Pompei
- Massimo Osanna - Soprintendenza Speciale per i Beni Archeologici di Pompei
- Sandra Zanella - Labex Archimede - Università Montpellier III / ASM UMR5140/AOROC UMR8546 CNRS | ENS
- Sandra Zanella (Labex Archimede - Università Montpellier III / ASM UMR5140/AOROC UMR8546 CNRS | ENS), Laetitia Cavassa (Aix Marseille Univ, CNRS, Minist Culture & Com, CCJ, Aix-en-Provence, France), Nicolas Laubry (Université de Paris-Est) et Nicolas Monteix (Université de Rouen) Membri dell’équipe con istituzione di appartenenza e ruolo sullo scavo : Sandra Zanella (Labex Archimede - Università Montpellier III / ASM UMR5140/AOROC UMR8546 CNRS | ENS - Direttrice), Laëtitia Cavassa (Aix Marseille Univ, CNRS, Minist Culture & Com, CCJ, Aix-en-Provence, France - Direttrice), Nicolas Laubry (Université de Paris-Est - direttore) et Nicolas Monteix (Université de Rouen - direttore); Sanna Aho (Archeologa), Gabriele Salvatore Boi (Archeologo, Università di Bologna), Antoine Boisson (Archeologo, Università di Montpellier), Guilhem Chapelin, (architetto, Centre Jean Bérard, CNRS-EFR), Sevérine Corbeel (dottoranda all’Università di Montpellier), Arnaud Coutelas (specialista delle malte, ArkeMine, UMR 8546- AOROC), Saverio De Rosa (numismatico), Audrey Delvigne (archeologa), Anaïs Denysiak (archeologa), Henri Duday (UMR 5199 PACEA, Équipe A3P-Anthropologie des populations passées et présentes, Université de Bordeaux, antropologo), Mélanie Errera (archeologa, Università di Montpellier), François Fouriaux (archeologa, topografo, Eveha), Léa Gerardin (archeologa, Hadès), Giorgia La Placa (archeologa, Università di Bologna), Loïc Lefévre (archeologo, Università di Rouen), Bastien Lemaire (archeologo ,Università Paul-Valéry Montpellier III), Pierpaolo Lippolis (archeologo, Università di Bologna), Fabrizio Luisani (archeologo, Università di Bologna), Raphael Macario (archeologo, Hadès), Sandrine Mencarelli (architetta), Agnès Oboussier (restauratrice, Aix Marseille Univ, CNRS, Minist Culture & Com, CCJ, Aix-en-Provence, France), Florien Ortis (archeologo, Università di Montpellier), Frédéric Pauvarel (fotografo), Vincenzo Pellegrino (archeologo, Università Paul-Valéry Montpellier III), Rémi Rêve (archeologo, Aix-Marseille Université), e Carla Rosa (Università de Fisciano-Salerno - archeologa), Géraldine Sachau-Carcel (PACEA - UMR 5199, Équipe A3P - Anthropologie des Populations Passées et Présentes ,Université de Bordeaux – antropologa), Ophélie Vauxion (specalistà degli intonaci).
- Centre Jean Bérard, USR3133 CNRS - Ecole Française de Rome / Centre Camille Jullian, UMR7299 CNRS
- Ministère des Affaires Etrangères et du Développement Industriel français ; Ecole française de Rome, Centre Camille Jullian, mecenati francesi : CMD2, Artfusion, Art et luxe e privati.
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