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  • Regio VIII.7.1-15
  • Pompei
  • Pompeii
  • Italy
  • Campania
  • Naples
  • Pompei

Credits

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Periods

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Chronology

  • 400 BC - 79 AD

Season

    • The 'Pompeii Archaeological Research Project: Porta Stabia' (PARP:PS) aims to uncover the structural and occupational history of the SE corner of Insula VIII.7, from its earliest origins through to AD 79. Through a series of selective excavations, structural analyses, and geophysical surveys, PARP:PS will produce a complete archaeological analysis and assessment of the shops, workshops, inns, and houses at VIII.7.1-15. This neighbourhood was selected for intensive investigation because of its unique potential to reveal the developing relationship between public and private space in the Roman city: each of the private buildings were connected to the so-called 'entertainment district' - an area comprised of two theatres, a large public colonnaded courtyard, three temples, and a forum. This was the social and cultural centre of Pompeii. The buildings chosen for excavation line one of the major thoroughfares of Pompeii, just inside one of its gates (the Porta Stabia). Even so, no stratigraphic excavations have ever taken place here since they were first cleared of volcanic debris - then left to be consumed by vegetation - just over a century ago. Starting in 2005, we will explore the sequence of urban developments for this corner of the city. The potential outcomes and results will contribute significantly to several of the recent and continuing archaeological projects in the neighbouring insulae, as well as to others across the city.
    • The 'Pompeii Archaeological Research Project: Porta Stabia' (PARP:PS) represents a collaborative effort (under the direction of Steven Ellis at the University of Michigan and Gary Devore at Stanford University) to recover the complete structural and social development of an important yet largely forgotten corner of Pompeii. Through a series of selective excavations, structural analyses, and geophysical surveys, PARP:PS is producing a complete archaeological analysis and assessment of the shops, workshops, inns, and houses at VIII.7.1-15 and the Porta Stabia. This region has much potential for enlightening Pompeian and Roman studies. All of the buildings fronted onto the _Via Stabiana_, the primary _cardo_ of the city, just inside one of the busiest gates into the city, the Porta Stabia. The southern zone was built against the city fortifications, while the rear (western) and northern limits confront, respectively, the _Quadriporticus_ and _Odeon_ of the so-called ‘Entertainment District’. The Project aims to unravel the sequence of building programmes for these properties, and to reveal something of the complex relationships between public and private space in the Roman city. Apart from understanding the developing relationships of this unique neighbourhood, and given the predilection of recent Pompeian excavations to focus almost solely on élite housing, our interests have included the recovery of a more complete Pompeian record through the excavation of several modest and non _atrium_ style habitations. The first two seasons (2005 and 2006) of the Project have produced some promising and exciting results, with the maze of walls and spaces beginning to take shape. Early results from the excavations, combined with our architectural analyses, ceramic studies and investigations of the biological remains are conspiring toward a picture of social opportunism at play in this city block, with certain households and businesses profiteering and gobbling up the land of their less economically successful neighbours.
    • Since 2005 the ‘Pompeii Archaeological Research Project: Porta Stabia’ (PARP:PS) has been uncovering the structural and occupational history of the SE corner of Insula VIII.7 at Pompeii. Through a series of selective excavations, structural analyses, and geophysical surveys, PARP:PS is producing a complete archaeological analysis of the shops, workshops, inns, and houses at a largely forgotten corner of Pompeii that has great potential for enlightening Pompeian and Roman studies. All of these rather modest and non-atrium style habitations fronted onto the via Stabiana, one of the primary streets of the city, just inside one of the busiest gates, the Porta Stabia. The southern zone of the insula was built against the city fortifications, while the western and northern limits adjoined, respectively, the _Quadriporticus_ and the _Odeon_ of the so-called \'Entertainment District\'. Through an incorporative and systematic approach to this range of urban spaces, we hope to disentangle some of the complex relationships that existed between private and public urban networks, as well as to contribute to a more nuanced understanding of the roles that non-elites played in the shaping of an ancient city. PARP:PS is jointly directed by Steven Ellis and Gary Devore, and is funded by the Louise Taft Semple Fund through the Department of Classics at the University of Cincinnati.
    • The Pompeii Archaeological Research Project: Porta Stabia is bringing to light a largely forgotten corner of ancient Pompeii that has unparalleled potential for enlightening Pompeian and Roman history. Through the full range of archaeological inquiry, this project is revealing the dynamic structural and social history of an entire city block of Pompeii: here we have discovered a working-class district (modest houses, shops, workshops, and hospitality outlets) which had an intimate urban connection to several adjacent and monumental public buildings, city fortifications, and other major civic networks. We are unraveling the sequence of building programs for these properties through archaeological excavations, structural and artefactual analyses, and geophysical surveys. This project thus presents a unique opportunity to examine the complex decisions involved in the planning, integration, and use of public and private space in the ancient city. The results will contribute a more detailed and reasoned understanding of the roles that non-elites played in the shaping of an ancient city.
    • The geophysical survey was carried out at the request of Dr Steven Ellis of the University of Cincinnati as part of an extensive archaeological investigation of a complete city block in ancient Pompeii, the Pompeii Archaeological Research Project: Porta Stabia (PARP:PS). The survey was carried out by a joint team from the British School at Rome (BSR) and the Archaeological Prospection Services of Southampton (APSS) in April 2009. Ground Penetrating Radar was chosen as the geophysical technique most appropriate for this survey following an assessment of the site in the summer of 2008. The survey was successful in identifying specific anomalies likely to be buried walls, tanks, and drains in addition to areas with high concentrations of anomalies whether identifiable or not. These results were able to supplement prior excavation in the insula, for instance confirming the location of a drain passing from an excavated room to the via Stabia, widening the understanding of the structural development in the area. Although in some areas there were fewer anomalies, or fewer identifiable anomalies, this will still assist future excavation planning.
    • The 2010 season for the Pompeii Archaeological Research Project: Porta Stabia (PARP:PS) represented our sixth campaign of excavations during which three trenches were excavated across the extent of I.1.1-10. This expansion – both spatially and conceptually – to include insula I.1 on the eastern side of the via Stabiana proved an important development for the project. The generous invitation of the Soprintendenza Archeologica di Pompei to include insula I.1 in our research facilitates a yet more comprehensive and detailed analysis of an entire Pompeian neighbourhood. The project opened three trenches across I.1.1-10 in the 2010 field season, each located in a separate property, and in rooms where at least part of the initial construction and/or partition wall between a neighbouring building were known. Four properties make up the insula, the principal activity for each appearing to have been based on hospitality, at least in their final manifestation. At this still very early stage of our study of I.1, and as we have seen across the via Stabiana at VIII.7, fish-salting and other light-industrial activities dominated the insula between the 2nd century BCE and the Augustan period (early 1st century CE), at which time the street-side rooms, especially, were converted more exclusively to retailing activities. Along with the stratified excavations, the project continued several lines of integrated research. The careful collection and detailed analysis of the bio-archaeological record; the geological terrain of the area prior to, but also including, the earliest human presence; the integrated analysis of all of the finds from I.1 and VIII.7; and an architectural survey of the entire zone. All of this work was facilitated by a dynamic and robust digital infrastructure; our team was equipped with tablet computers (iPads) so that all of the data was collected using streamlined digital methods (a veritable ‘paperless project’).
    • This was the 7th season of excavations for the project at Pompeii, during which four trenches were excavated within four separate properties across insula I.1. The report focuses on the stratified sequences uncovered in each trench, and outlines the phases of activity and how some of these relate to the development of other parts of the buildings already excavated by the project throughout insula I.1, as well as to the results from our excavations on the other side of the via Stabiana at insula VIII.7. The earliest sequence of activities begins in the 4th century BCE, with major developments occurring in the second half of the 2nd century BCE (the establishment of the standing buildings), the Augustan period (the replacement of light-industrial spaces with retail), and the last decades of habitation (the recovery from the earthquake/s).
    • This final season of excavations has shed some necessary light on the development of insula I.1, particularly with regard to the rear portions of each of the four properties. The first of the structural activities occurred in the 6th century BCE with the construction of at least a single building at the south end of the insula, beneath the front room (Room 6) of the property at I.1.2; as so often for these earliest constructions, all that remains are some sections of foundations in pappamonte. An associated surface (a potential wheel-rut indicates a road) was formed upon the compacted, redeposited Mercato ash that had helped to level the undulating topography. Few other activities can be recognized until the 4th century BCE, when significant fill layers were deposited – especially in the central area of insula I.1 – to terrace the landscape (once more). Once into the 3rd century BCE, the most significant and identifiable activity is seen in the pottery production facility at the south end of insula I.1. Otherwise, it is not until the 2nd century BCE that we see wholesale structural and spatial developments across the entire neighbourhood. To this period can be attributed a series of properties whose street-frontages were typically given over to cottage-scale industries, notably fish-salting. Important public infrastructure is another hallmark of this period: the construction of a large public well, for example, and the paving (and draining) of the via Stabiana. The next major change came in the Augustan period, when the production activities were mostly abandoned, a pattern also well known in our excavations at VIII.7, with retailing activities dominating at least the frontages of these properties until their final destruction in 79 CE.

FOLD&R

    • Gary Devore, Steven J.R. Ellis. 2005. New Excavations at VIII.7.1-15, Pompeii: A brief synthesis of results from the 2005 season. FOLD&R Italy: 48.
    • Steven J.R. Ellis, Gary Devore. 2006. Towards an understanding of the shape of space at VIII.7.1-15, Pompeii: preliminary results from the 2006 season. FOLD&R Italy: 71.
    • Gary Devore, Steven J.R. Ellis. 2008. The Third Season of Excavations at VIII.7.1-15 and the Porta Stabia at Pompeii: Preliminary Report. FOLD&R Italy: 112.
    • Steven J.R. Ellis, Gary Devore. 2009. The Fourth season of Excavations at VIII.7.1-15 and the Porta Stabia at Pompeii: Preliminary report. FOLD&R Italy: 146.
    • Steven J.R. Ellis, Gary Devore. 2010. The Fifth Season of Excavations at VIII.7.1-15 and the Porta Stabia at Pompeii: Preliminary report. FOLD&R Italy: 202.
    • Steven J.R. Ellis, Allison L.C. Emmerson, Amanda K. Pavlick, Kevin Dicus. 2011. The 2010 Field Season at I.1.1-10, Pompeii: Preliminary report on the excavations. FOLD&R Italy: 220.
    • Steven J.R. Ellis, Allison L.C. Emmerson, Amanda K. Pavlick, Kevin Dicus, Gina Tibbott. 2012. The 2011 Field Season at I.1.1-10, Pompeii: Preliminary report on the excavations. FOLD&R Italy: 262.
    • Steven J.R. Ellis, Allison L.C. Emmerson, Kevin Dicus, Gina Tibbott, Gina Tibbott. 2015. The 2012 Field Season at I.1.1-10, Pompeii: Preliminary report on the excavations. FOLD&R Italy: 328.

Bibliography

    • S.J.R. Ellis-G. Devore, 2008, Uncovering Plebeian Pompeii: Broader implications from excavating a forgotten working-class neighbourhood, in P.G. Guzzo-M.P. Guidobaldi (eds), Nuove ricerche archeologiche nell’area Vesuviana (scavi 2003-2006), Atti del Convegno internazionale (Roma 1-3 febbraio 2007), Roma: 309-320.
    • S.J.R. Ellis-G. Devore, 2007, Two Seasons of Excavations at VIII.7.1-15 and the Porta Stabia at Pompeii, 2005-2006, in Rivista di Studi Pompeiani 18: 119-128.
    • G. Devore-S.J.R. Ellis, 2008, The Third Season of Excavations at VIII.7.1-15 and the Porta Stabia at Pompeii: Preliminary Report, in www.fastionline.org/docs/FOLDER-it-2008-112.pdf.
    • S. Ellis, G. Devore, 2009, The Fourth Season of Excavations at VIII.7.1-15 and the Porta Stabia at Pompeii: Preliminary Report, in www.fastionline.org/docs/FOLDER-it-2009-146.pdf.
    • Ellis, Steven J.R., 2011, The Making of Pompeii: Studies in the history and urban development of an ancient town (Editor: JRA Supp. Series 85) Portsmouth, R.I.
    • Ellis, Steven J.R., 2011, ‘The rise and reorganization of the Pompeian salted fish industry,’ in The Making of Pompeii: Studies in the history and urban development of an ancient town (Edited by Steven J.R. Ellis, JRA suppl. 85, 2011) 59-88.
    • S.J.R. Ellis, 2011, The Making of Pompeii: Studies in the history and urban development of an ancient town (Editor: JRA Supp. Series 85) Portsmouth, R.I.
    • J. Ogden, G. Tucker, S. Hay, S. Kay, K. Strutt, S. Keay, D. Camardo and S.J.R. Ellis, Geophysical Prospection in the Vesuvian Cities, in F. Vermuelen, G.J. Burgers, S. Keay and C. Corsi (edd), Urban Landscape Survey in Italy and the Mediterranean, Oxford: 114-125.
    • J.R.S. Ellis, 2012, Eating and Drinking Out, in Paul Erdkamp (Ed), A Cultural History of Food, Vol. 1: Classical Antiquity, London: 95-112.
    • S.J.R. Ellis, 2011, The rise and reorganization of the Pompeian salted fish industry, in The Making of Pompeii: Studies in the history and urban development of an ancient town (Edited by Steven J.R. Ellis, JRA suppl. 85: 59-88.
    • I. Van der Graaff and S. J.R. Ellis, 2015, ‘Minerva, urban defenses, and the continuity of cult at Pompeii’ (co-authored with Ivo van der Graaff) in Moenia e Urbs. Fortificazioni a Pompei e nel golfo di Napoli tra età arcaica ed età romana, Napoli, in press.
    • Steven J.R. Ellis, 2015, ‘Reevaluating Pompeii’s Coin-Finds: Monetary transactions and urban trash in the retail economy of an ancient city’, in M. Flohr and A. Wilson (Eds), The Economy of Pompeii (Oxford Roman Economy Project Publication), Oxford, in press).
    • S.J.R. Ellis-G. Devore, 2006, Towards an understanding of the shape of space at VIII.7.1-15, Pompeii: preliminary results from the 2006 season, in The Journal of Fasti Online. www.fastionline.org/docs/ FOLDER-it-2006-71.pdf.
    • G. Devore-S.J.R. Ellis, 2005, New Excavations at VIII.7.1-15, Pompeii: A brief synthesis of results from the 2005 season, in The Journal of Fasti Online. www.fastionline.org/docs/ FOLDER-it-2005-48.pdf.