During this season, excavations took place in the pars rustica and the pars maritima. Two trenches were opened (8 and 12, figs. 1-3) on the northern edge of the second terrace of the pars rustica above a substantial caementicium foundation. This was clearly an integral part of the pars rustica: floors and walls in opus caementicium and a mosaic attest the presence of reception rooms that must have been part of the large domus above the seaside villa. Future campaigns will follow these structures along the entire north side (c. 50 m) in order to put them on the plan and create a 3D model of this important part of the villa. It may have been a veranda opening towards the north providing view over the first terrace of the pars rustica and the seaside villa.
In addition, structures emerged below the vegetation in the area between the south-west and the villa’s two harbours (figs. 1-2). These were part of the pars maritima and included an aqueduct (fig. 3) heading north that must have linked the pars maritima to the monumental cisterns situated below the artificial terraces. This hydraulic system provided water to the seaside villa. A few metres away (trench 10, fig. 2) an ancient layer of ash and lapilli appeared, which contained fine ware pottery and Roman amphorae that can be considered part of the 79 A.D. eruption (fig. 4). The layer of volcanic material (c. 40-70 cm) fell on structures that were already damaged showing that the villa was already in ruins when Vesuvius erupted in 79 A.D. This is the first straigraphic evidence of the eruption in the area of the villa of Capo Sorrento.
Large-scale cleaning was undertaken on the pars maritima in order to expose the rooms south of the central quadriporticus excavated in the 1960s. These rooms were added to the plan with some corrections at the eastern corner of the basis villae. Large amounts of painted wall plaster (1st-4th style) were present in the back fill of the old excavations in addition to two previously unknown opus incertum walls underneath the villa’s opus reticulatum foundations (trench 7, fig. 1-2, 6), attesting the existence of an earlier phase. The two walls created a narrow corridor that was filled by a large amount of compact soil. This was probably the remains of an access ramp or stairway that was demolished and then incorporated into the basis villae of the opus reticulatum villa. Fragments of 1st style wall plaster support the suggested existence of an earlier phase.
The general photogrammetry survey of the villa continued on land and sea (in the villa’s two harbours) with the aim of creating a single 3D model. The photogrammetry of the sea floor in the harbour will be used to identify the architectural elements fallen from the harbour islands (fig. 7) and the villa.
Therefore, much was added to our knowledge of the architecture and chronology during this campaign. Excavations, geomorphological and photogrammetric activities will continue in 2018.
- Wolfgang Filser
- Stephan G. Schmid - Humboldt Universität zu Berlin
- Angelika Walther - Humboldt Universität zu Berlin
- Bernhard Fritsch - Topoi Berlin
- Christoph Klose - Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena
- Maria Rosaria Perrella- Humboldt Universität zu Berlin
- Michaela Reinfeld – DAI Berlin
- Wolfgang Filser - Humboldt Universität zu Berlin
- Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
- Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin