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Excavation

  • Panificio VII 1, 25.46-47
  • Pompei
  • Colonia Veneria Cornelia Pompeianorum
  • Italy
  • Campania
  • Naples
  • Pompei

Summary (English)

  • This campaign continued the investigation started last year in the domus Sirici (VII 1, 25.46-47). The area under examination was extended to include the room next to the oven with the aim of documenting to what degree the remains of the bread-making production line had survived following the dismantling of the bakery. The investigation in the mill-room and in front of the oven continued, in an attempt to identify the period of the bakery’s installation and the affect this had on the structures of the ancient domus.

    In the first area investigated, an opus signinum floor emerged across the entire room. A fragmentary catillus was situated in the south-western corner, but it was not possible to establish whether it was used in the bread making process (proving of the dough) or whether it was placed here after the bakery had ceased to produce flour. The room’s function was confirmed by the negative traces of the masonry supports for the boards on which the loaves were shaped.

    In the second area, in front of the oven and in the mill-room, the investigation aimed to clarify the dynamics of the bakery’s dismantling and provide answers to questions such as whether the oven, following the cessation of flour production, had continued to be used.
    The structure found last year within the negative of mill 1 was seen to continue in correspondence with, to one side the entrance to the viridarium, and to the other the atrium of the domus. This construction, built directly on natural and formed by large limestone flakes in abundant earthy mortar attests a layout that was very different from that which was later to characterise the entire insula.

    It can be confirmed that this structure was destroyed prior to the installation of the first bakery based on the discovery of opus africanum walls aligned with the structures visible today, razed at the time of the bakery’s construction. Due to subsidence in the stratigraphy, it was not possible to investigate this situation to any depth. A large cistern, of which the extrados was visible in the western part of the room, certainly belonged to this phase. The edges of the cistern could be followed in the opus signinum floor of the adjacent room with the bread making tables.
    It seems that, at the moment of the bakery’s installation, this cistern remained in use while the opus africanum structures were dismantled to make room for the mills.

    The presence of a substantial stratigraphy rich in charcoal and olive pits suggests that the oven was still in use at the time of the eruption and, therefore, that it was used in a domestic context or, more probably, was a commercial bakery which no longer milled its own flour.

    Unfortunately, the excavations were abruptly halted for safety reasons because of subsidence in the stratigraphy, probably caused by the collapse of the cistern below the area. This may have occurred at the moment of the 79 A.D. eruption or in concomitance with the seismic activities linked to eruptions in the modern era.

  • Nicolas Monteix - Ecole française de Rome 

Director

  • Nicolas Monteix - Ecole française de Rome

Team

  • Cécile Hartz - Université de Paris-I
  • Eloïse Letellier - Université de Provence
  • Lorraine Garnier - IRAA-Université de Provence
  • Nicolas Morand - Università di Rouen
  • Olivier Mignot
  • Ophélie Candelier - Università di Rouen
  • Sanna Aho - University of Helsinki/Institutum Classicum
  • Véronique Matterne - CNRS
  • Sandra Zanella - Université de Paris-I
  • Arnaud Coutelas - ArkeMine
  • Samuele Ranucci - Università di Perugia
  • Laëtitia Cavassa - Centre Jean Bérard, USR 3133 CNRS – École Française de Rome

Research Body

  • Centre Jean Bérard
  • Università di Rouen
  • École Française de Rome

Funding Body

  • Centre Jean Bérard
  • Groupe de Recherches en Histoire
  • École Française de Rome

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