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  • Via Sepolcri
  • Torre Annunziata
  • Oplontis
  • Italy
  • Campania
  • Naples
  • Torre Annunziata



  • 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 the 2018 the aim of our work was to gain further insight into the development of the complex as well as understanding its layout at the time of the eruption. For this we excavated a total of 7 trenches (opb 31-38) during our season.
    OPB 31
    We opened this unit with the hope to find valid construction cuts for the north and east walls of Room 4. The trench therefore spanned the eastern part of the room with a width of 2 meters. The floor of the room was no more than a thin veneer of plaster.
    OPB 32
    We placed Trench 32 in room 28 to get a window on the western portion of the site. After scraping through the modern accumulation, we encountered a highly stratified deposit of a waterlogged sandy clay. This kind of deposit is characteristic of a superheated water deposit that is heavily laden with volcanic ash. Beneath this sedimentary stratum the team encountered a layer of highly degraded cocciopesto.
    OPB 33
    This was a small unit 1.5×3 meters meant to pick up any of the architecture we encountered in the neighboring room 49 bis. Within this small unit we found the remains of the water conduit recovered in unit 15. Most of the architecture sits just below the surface.
    OPB 34
    The aim of this trench was to investigate a long strip on the south side of the building. The long strip of 2×9 meters was a means to investigate the broader context of this area. On the western edge of the trench the excavation recovered a large drain running in a north south direction. It has a clear function to drain water from the roof of the building.
    OPB 35
    Trench 35 found a place in the southern portion of space 39, adjacent to space 18. Our aim here was to better understand the function of this area. We recovered the remains of a small kiln. The kiln was cut into an earlier surface which was ephemeral composed of loose soil and not a proper pavement. It also cut through an earlier cut that reached a more solid pavement. This pavement more likely has to do with the wall recovered in the adjacent trench opb 4.
    OPB 36
    This unit was a 2 meters slot cut against the southern side of space 11. The reason to site it here was to gain a sense of the construction sequence of the walls in this area of the building. The pyroclastic layer found elsewhere in this area of Oplontis B emerged rather quickly and the stratigraphy was rather shallow. Much of it was dug through with large pits which we left undisturbed.
    OPB 37
    The aim of trench was to explore the development of space 6 and its relationship with the rest of the complex. The unit consisted of a two-meter strip on the eastern edge of the space, where we hoped to encounter the foundation trenches for the south north and eastern walls. Set within this deposit were the remains of a shallow wall that must relate to a much earlier structure unrelated to the current building.
    OPB 38
    This trench had as primary aim to recover more of the ancient street on the north side of the complex. While cleaning the surface of the street part of it collapsed into an ancient sewer that runs beneath the street and it was still hollow.

  • Ivo van der Graaff– University of New Hampshire 


  • John Clarke– University of Texas at Austin
  • Michael Thomas– University of Texas at Dallas


  • Nayla Muntasser, University of Texas at Austin
  • Rita Scognamiglio
  • Zoe Schofield, Touchstone Archaeology
  • Jess Galloway, Jess Galloway Architects
  • Garrett Bruner, University of Texas at Austin
  • Ivo van der Graaff– University of New Hampshire
  • Jennifer Muslin, Loyola University, Chicago
  • Giovanni Di Maio, Geomed SRL

Research Body

  • University of Texas at Austin
  • University of Texas at Dallas

Funding Body


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