The city of Pompeii with its well preserved defensive walls is among the most important sites for the research on ancient fortifications in Italy. Still, apart from a variety of specialist’s studies focused on certain spots (particularly by A. Maiuri), the circuit walls have never been studied in the whole: less well known is therefore their importance for the development of the urban organism. Also missing is a comparative study, which would enable us to embed the different building periods within the existence and chronology of other fortifications in Campania.
From an architectural point of view a new and entire investigation of this circuit of walls would therefore seem especially valuable since its outstanding state of preservation still permits insights in building techniques and progress. Precise recording of construction details at curtains, towers and gates can offer additional and up to now overlooked evidence and in this way help to establish a chronological framework the various building periods can be assigned to. All these different periods, from the beginning in the 6th century BC to the end 79 AD, though not assignable at the moment to exact time periods, are still at hand in Pompeii and present in substantial remains: a starting position which is on this level rare to be found elsewhere.
Previous studies have dealt with the walls in a more superficial way while certain partitions have hardly been mapped in the existing topographical plans. In no way these attempts do justice to the historical significance and architectonical importance of the Oscan, Samnitic and Early Roman walls. There are many sections that have not or only summarily been recorded in drawings or photogrammetric exposures but which would deserve in fact a closer look in order to gather all available information together. Needless to say, they have not been linked to the city and its structures itself.
The main objective of this project is to obtain a diachronic, detailed and overall documentation of the visible remains of the circuit walls of Pompeii. The various building periods have to be recorded carefully in their layout, composition and characteristic features. A new general plan of these walls and their adjacent structures such as ditches or the famous agger should be the result and the solid base on which new models of interpretation can be developed. Among these are the general appearance and the significance of each building phase. Furthermore, it can be expected that a documentation of this sort will represent an important contribution to our understanding of the city’s history and the history of defensive systems in the whole area.
The project is part of an international research group, being initiated by Prof. F. Pesando. It is the clear objective of this venture to investigate the development of the city of Pompei by paying special attention to its defensive walls. This part of the project described here is devoted to the architectural approach while the other contributors deal with the remains from an archeological, art historian or preservation point of view.
The following institutions and universities are also involved:
Università Orientale di Napoli, Dipartimento di Studi del Mondo Classico e del Mediterraneo Antico, Prof. F. Pesando;
Università di Roma ‘Tor Vergata’, Dipartimento di Storia, Dr. M. Fabbri;
Università di Alicante, Dpto. Preh. Arqu., H. Antigua, F. Griega y F. Latina, Prof. Dr. José Sáez;
- Florian Seiler - Deutsches Archäologisches Institut Berlin
- Klaus Rheidt - Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus, Department History of architecture, Germany
- Dirk Jerominek - Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus, Department History of architecture, Germany
- M.A. Christiane Brasse - Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus, Department History of architecture, Germany
- Rex Haberland - Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus, Department Geodesic Sciences
- Students of architecture - Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus
- Students of spatial information and surveying - Dresden University of Applied Sciences
- Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus, Department History of architecture, Germany
- German Archaeological Institute, Berlin
- Gerda Henkel Stiftung, Düsseldorf, Germania
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