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Excavation

  • Regio VII, insula VI and Villa delle Colonne a mosaico
  • Pompeii
  • Pompeii

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    Credits

    • The Italian Database is the result of a collaboration between:

      MIBAC (Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali - Direzione Generale per i Beni Archeologici),

      ICCD (Istituto Centrale per il Catalogo e la Documentazione) and

      AIAC (Associazione Internazionale di Archeologia Classica).

    • AIAC_logo logo

    Summary (English)

    • In June and July of 2018, the Via Consolare Project continued stratigraphic excavations in the area of the Villa delle Colonne a mosaico as a part of its on-going research into the chronology, urban development, and utilization of the properties along the Via Consolare, from Pompeii’s surburbium to its forum.

      The four trenches in the Villa core were opened (AA016, AA017, AA018, AA020), intended to provide material dating the earliest phases of Villa construction and to explore the nature of the final-phase utilisation of space. That in the north-eastern corner (AA016) produced evidence of a broad conduit draining water into a deep cistern, with evidence that the first phase of the Villa had included an interior colonnade of brick columns previously thought to be a secondary addition. This cistern and drain went out of use in the final phases as the Villa’s vertical expansion came to be supported by several large piers. The trench to the west (AA018) examined the central court and a small room to the south. This uncovered a lead pipe (fistulum) that ran laterally across the courtyard, originating in a large, above-ground cistern to the west of the core. Further traces of the brick-column colonnade and a thin opus signinum floor provided evidence of the changes to surrounding rooms that had attended the addition of upper stories to the Villa. This area also established that the Villa core does not actually represent an earlier phase of the Villa, but instead is a massive square platform, nearly 2 m deep that had been built during the initial construction in order to elevate it above its local surroundings. Excavations intended to recover the destination of the fistulum (AA020) revealed that it had not reached the final phase water features that are located in the south-eastern corner of the core, but rather ran towards the bath-suite situated to the east of the core. These also provided evidence of final phase changes including the probable removal of elements of the lead pipe. Exceptionally, in the area of two cooking platforms (AA017) a final phase build-up of cooking debris was recovered, producing a laminate of charcoal, ash, and lime above a packed earth floor, that documented the use of space in the area until the eruption itself. At depth in this area the base of the Villa platform was recovered, displaying a thick sequence of fills and building debris that provisionally date the Villa to the early 1st c. CE.

      Removal of modern debris (AA018) in the area of the northern entrance corridor produced evidence of extensive early modern exploration, likely in pursuit of underlying Oscan graves, but also revealed sufficient surviving ancient stratigraphy to reveal a beaten earth track with repairs, and several late period changes to the walls and door closure system. This area is to be explored more fully in 2019.

      Excavation in 2018 has dramatically altered the chronology of the Villa, the motivations of its builders, and the role it played in the urban fabric of the area outside of the Porta Ercolano.

    • Michael A. Anderson - San Francisco State University  

    Director

    Team

    • Claire J. Weiss - University of Virginia
    • Clare Anderson – Northern Archaeology Consultancies Pty Ltd
    • Laura D’Esposito – Soprintendenza Archeologica di Pompei
    • Luana Toniolo – Soprintendenza Archeologica di Pompei
    • Vincenzo Sabini – Soprintendenza Archeologica di Pompei
    • Charlene Murphy – University College London
    • Hugues-Alexandre Blain – Institut Català de Paleoecologia Humana i Evolució Social, Tarragona
    • Robyn Veal – University of Cambridge
    • Rebekka Valke – University of London
    • Richard Hobbs – The British Museum

    Research Body

    • San Francisco State University

    Funding Body

    Images

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