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

    Credits

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    • AIAC_logo logo

    Periods

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    Chronology

    • 200 BC - 79 AD

    Season

      • The Via Consolare Project examines the urban development and growth of Pompeii through active field research including archaeological excavation, 3-D topographic survey, wall construction analysis, rectified photographic recording, and geophysical remote sensing. The Project seeks to explain the processes of urbanization that produced the composition and layout of the north-western part of city from the time of its original foundation until its destruction in 79 CE. To this end, research focuses on two separate areas of the ancient city: Insula VII 6, and the Villa delle Colonne a mosaico together with the long row of shops on its western side. The examination of these areas in tandem permits conclusions to be drawn not only about the rich and varied history of use and re-use that each area preserves, but also about changing priorities in the urban landscape of the ancient city as a whole. Given their differing proximities to both the forum and the city wall, VII 6 and the Villa delle Colonne a mosaico present information on both urban and surburban environments – two Pompeian contexts that might be expected to have been strikingly different in terms of their historical development and daily use of space. However, study of the extant remains in both areas reveals a remarkably similar composition, especially during Pompeii’s final years, consisting of domestic structures, small business ventures, industrial activities, sacred foundations, government-regulated spaces, and areas that experienced high-volume pedestrian and wheeled traffic. Whether these similarities existed throughout Pompeii’s history or were relatively recent developments has great significance for the interpretation of the distinction between Roman urban and suburban zones. The potential role of the Via Consolare in facilitating or creating this situation must also be considered. Excavations designed to clarify these important questions commenced in 2008 on the southern side of Insula VII 6 between doorways 26 and 27, revealing the foundations and chronology of the Nocera tuff faced shop frontages in this area. These were augmented by preliminary cleaning in house VII 6, 30. Further excavation and analysis is planned for the future in order to reveal the role of these areas and their specific relationships with the Via Consolare in the history of city planning at the site.
      • In 2009 the Via Consolare Project continued to uncover a great deal of important information on the southern side of _Insula_ VII 6 and the development and excavation history of the Villa delle Colonne a mosaico. Between the 24th of June and the 4th of August 2009, with the permission of the Soprintendenza Archeologica di Napoli e Pompei and with the ongoing support of Professore Guzzo and dottore D’Ambrosio, the members of the Via Consolare Project expanded the test trench from 2008 to produce more details on the final occupation phases of the shop and _tabernae_ at _Insula_ VII 6, 26-27. This produced further information on the precise condition of these shops at the time of the eruption and revealed evidence of an apparently comprehensive programme of restoration and refurbishment that seems to have been in progress during the last days of the city’s life. Excavation revealed a system of channels and holes conceivably intended to provide an extensive new drainage system, which were interrupted by the AD 79 eruption itself. The resolution of the data was so precise that it is possible to restore not only the disposition of the individual diggers, but also the locations of their soil heaps. This provides an important window onto not only the condition of this particular part of the city at that moment, but also provides further evidence on the types of building activities which were underway during the seventeen years between the earthquake of AD 62 and the eruption. Especially significant is that the large-scale nature of these changes not only would have influenced the potential use of the Vico dei Soprastanti but might easily be characterised as ‘municipal’ in scale. Furthermore, this provides new information on the manner in which Roman/Pompeian builders conceptualised and executed individual work projects. These results therefore tie directly into our expressed research goals and reveal much of the nature of urban development along the course of the Via Consolare. At the moment, the southern side of _Insula_ VII 6 has yet to produce comparable traces of especially early chronology such as revealed by Dott. Ribera, in _Insula_ VII 4, so further excavation in this area will be necessary in the future to explain this absence. Our excavations in the Villa delle Colonne a mosaico revealed important and poorly published information on the precise disposition of early ‘Samnite-Oscan’ graves uncovered in the pre-war campaigns of A. Maiuri in the _viridarium_ and _sacellum_ of the Villa. Though no ancient material was still extent in the majority of these areas, the information we uncovered is nevertheless extremely valuable both to the study of early burial practices but also in regards to the pre-existing alignments in the area, especially as they related to the original construction of the Villa. The second trench excavated in the Villa delle Colonne a mosaico was even more productive. Here, the area of Maiuri’s previous excavations were quickly identified and removed, revealing a number of primary earthen deposits relating to the final uses of the Villa and its spatial disposition. Such preservation is especially remarkable given the number of years during which the Villa has been exposed since its original excavation and the extent of subsequent plant growth. During the 2009 season the Via Consolare Project also continued to refine our recording and documentation methodology so as to be able to integrate fully all types of archaeological data into a 3-D spatial database. Primary topographic survey was completed in Insula VII 6 including important underground portions of the cisterns of the Terme del Foro and its access corridors and also continued in the Villa delle Colonne a mosaico including the _viridarium_ and _sacellum_. In both areas, wall sequence analysis continued as in previous years and several groups of walls that were studied in 2007 and 2008 were brought together into broad, overall phasing sequences, providing a guideline for future cleaning and stratigraphic excavation. These intensive studies were followed by complete photo documentation via stitched-rectified photography – a method that was presented earlier this year at an important international conference on computer applications in archaeology (CAA 2009) (cf. Anderson, M. 2010). Overall, investigations conducted by the Via Consolare Project have provided significant data to the understanding of the sequence and history of the development of the city of Pompeii as well as the social, environmental, and ecological framework through which this development took place. The results of our 2009 field season emphasize especially the importance of continued archaeological research in _Insula_ VII 6 and the area of the Villa delle Colonne a mosaico, and the value of the data they yet preserve.
      • The 2010 field season of the Via Consolare Project was dedicated to the preparation and finalisation the results of the previous two seasons of excavation in preparation for publication. To this end, the materials recovered during the summers of 2008 and 2009 were examined, recorded, and analysed. Between the 16th of June and the 4th of August 2010, with the kind permission the Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali, Soprintendenza Speciale per i Beni Archeologici di Napoli e Pompei, and with the kind support of Professoressa. Salvatore, Professore Proietti and dottore Varone, the members of the Via Consolare Project continued our ongoing research in the areas of _Insula_ VII 6, the area of the Villa delle Colonne a mosaico, and the route of the Via Consolare. Specialists in pottery, numismatics, animal bone, charcoal, and ecofacts examined the materials that our excavations of the last two seasons had produced. As a result of these efforts, the majority of all finds have now been studied. All soil samples floated in previous years have now been sorted thoroughly and accessioned. In addition, all animal bone recovered has been washed and preliminary sorting of taxa has begun. The precise of identification of charcoal remains has commenced. All pottery recovered has now been processed for the provision of spot dates, which will be refined and finalised during the following months. Records of all coins recovered have been made and the stratigraphic sequence discernable in the standing remains has been finalised pending further excavation. In short, all backlog of materials or post-processing has been completed. The Via Consolare Project is committed to making our results available to the community of Pompeian scholars and the Soprintendenza Archeologica di Pompei with as little delay as possible between excavation and publication. For this to be possible, it is vital that the processes of finds analysis and publication go hand in hand with on-going excavation. The successful completion of our target goals for finds analysis and post-processing in 2010 means that our publications are well on track to maintaining this commitment.
      • In 2011, the Via Consolare Project continued excavation in the southern side of _Insula_ VII 6, 26 and VII 6, 27 to continue to clarify the nature of the ancient activities identified in previous field seasons and to finalise the sub-surface investigations initiated in 2008. The area of the eastern half of Archaeological Area 001, measuring roughly four by five metres, was reopened and backfill from the 2009 field season was removed. Stratigraphic excavation was then undertaken to the level of natural soils in the majority of this area, bringing subsurface examination in AA001 to a close. As a result, it is now possible to present a complete stratigraphic sequence for the southern rooms of properties 26 and 27, and to connect the associated chronology to the relative development of much of _Insula_ VII 6. A long history of urban transformation might be expected in _Insula_ VII 6 given the proximity of this area to the Forum, the so-called ‘altstadt’, and the Terme del Foro. Indeed, excavations have confirmed a complicated sequence of development, long-term use, and re-use in the south-eastern corner of the block, illustrating the transformation of the area from elite domestic space of the mid-2nd c. BC into a group of purpose-built commercial structures at the beginning of the 1st c. BC and finally into a construction zone during the final years prior to the eruption of Vesuvius. It is also clear that the evolving utilisation of these areas frequently involved the widespread removal of soils and floors, presenting a highly-interwoven archaeological record preserved completely only in the combination of data from both soil deposits and architectural remains. The documentation of the complete chronological sequence in AA001 has also yielded information in support of the insula-wide phasing carried out through analysis of the standing architecture. In 2011, the construction phases identified and studied in the walls of the _insula_ were coordinated with the subsurface evidence and a working geographical information system (GIS) database was created serving to coordinate all data produced by the project. The use of structure-from-motion 3D point capture using consumer grade digital cameras has revolutionized all aspects of the project’s research methodology and has permitted the creation of rich, highly-detailed, three-dimensional surface models of standing remains and sub-surface deposits. During the final weeks of the 2011 field season, preliminary investigations were undertaken in a 4 by 5 metre area at the north-west corner of the _Casa di Secundus Tyrannus Fortunatus_ (VII 6, 28), situated against one of the earliest walls of the _insula_ built in _opus africanum_ (type A). Removal of modern build-up was undertaken in order to establish the degree of preservation of the AD 79 surface, to examine the relationship of the walls below the levels with the greatest amount of modern debris, and to compare this information against geophysical research undertaken in 2007. The clean uncovered the continuation of a wall that was obliterated in the allied bombing in 1943, but produced few traces of intact flooring. Further excavation in the future will serve to clarify the chronology and development of this area.
      • The Via Consolare Project focused its 2012 research on sub-surface excavation in the centre of Insula VII 6. Further analysis of standing structures, including topographic survey of the northern side of the Terme del Foro, was also undertaken, while Structure from Motion (SfM) based 3D surface capture was employed to produce a digital model of all excavated deposits and trench features. A trench measuring 11m by 5m (AA006) was opened in the north-western corner of the peristyle of the Casa di Secundus Tyrannus Fortunatus (VII 6, 28.19.20) where this property adjoined the Casa di Pamphilus Felix (VII 6, 38). This area is now nearly devoid of standing remains with the exception of two short lengths of wall, one of which is distinguished by traces of construction in opus africanum (type A). Stratigraphic excavation proceeded to the level of natural soils in all areas available for excavation, producing 90 stratigraphic units (SUs) and completing investigations in AA006. These investigations have revealed much regarding the development of the central area of Insula VII 6, especially concerning the interactions of three properties in the area: the Casa di Secundus Tyrannus Fortunatus, the Casa di Cipius Pamphilus Felix, and the Casa della Diana, from its earliest identifiable human activities to the years immediately prior to the 79 AD eruption. The earliest traces of activity help to confirm the supposed antiquity of the Casa di Cipius Pamphilus Felix and testify to an early presence in the area, possibly related to other ‘pappamonte’ phase features in the city. It is possible that these predate the final stage of interplinian eruptions, which were also identified at depth in AA006. At the moment, precise dating of the opus africanum (type A) wall has also proven elusive, but excavation in 2012 clearly proved that this earlier phase in the Casa di Cipius Pamphilus Felix was once much more extensive than had previously been thought, and further exploration may yet provide a solid date for its earliest surviving construction phase. The most important discoveries of the 2012 field season were a suite of rooms underlying the later peristyle of the Casa di Secundus Tyrannus Fortunatus that, prior to the early 1st c. AD, had belonged to the Casa di Cipius Pamphilus Felix, probably when it was also joined with the Casa della Diana. Preserved pavements and two phases of earlier wall plasters documented not only the initial addition of the rooms to the earlier property in the early 1st c. BC, but also subsequent modifications in the time of Augustus. The annexation of property from one house to another, likely early in the reign of Tiberius and contemporary with the separation of the Casa di Cipius Pamphilus Felix and the Casa della Diana, documents a shift in financial primacy between the house owners in the Insula. This interconnects neatly with the sequence of development in the block and may represent the tangible benefits of engagement in business and commerce. Excavation also provided considerable data on changes that occurred throughout the 1st c. AD in the Casa di Secundus Tyrannus Fortunatus, possibly related to earthquake repairs or renovations in the house’s final years. Overall, the 2012 field season has provided an important and deeply-revealing glimpse into the development of Insula VII 6 and its building history. In turn, these changes inform observations that may be made about Pompeian society, economy, and social organisation from the 3rd c. BC until the 1st c. AD.
      • In June and July of 2013, the Via Consolare Project conducted stratigraphic excavations in the garden of Casa di Secundus Tyrannus Fortunatus (VII 6, 28.19.20) and in a shop (VII 6, 16) on the northern side of the so-called ‘Great Cistern.’ The first trench (AA007), measuring 11m by 5m, encompassed the southern half of the central garden space and the southeast corner of the colonnade of the peristyle of the Casa di Secundus Tyrannus Fortunatus (Room 4). The second (AA008) measured 9m by 3m and was placed against the northern wall of the ‘Great Cistern,’ exposing approximately half of the area of the shop associated with the northern side of this structure (Rooms 64, 65, 66). Excavation proceeded to the level of natural soils in both areas, producing 49 and 59 stratigraphic units (SU, US) respectively. Though ancient pit cutting and modern bomb damage to AA007 meant that the original layout of the centre of the insula and the precise date of its first creation has remained elusive, it was nevertheless possible to hypothesize the probable location of a boundary wall in the area between two early properties. It was also possible to reconstruct much of the original decoration of this boundary wall, since the later pit cuts appear to have been filled with many elements from the features they destroyed. The date implied by this decorative plaster suggests that a transfer of space from the Casa di Cipius Pamphilus Felix and the Casa della Diana to the Casa di Secundus Tyrannus Fortunatus took place probably about a generation after the beginning of the reign of Tiberius. This also appears to have included elements from a now-invisible property that had once extended from the centre of the block to the Vicolo delle Terme, the eastern end of which was later truncated by the ‘Great Cistern.’ Recovery in AA008 of an earlier shop floor through which the ‘Great Cistern’ was cut may serve to explain this earlier property as one of a row of similar shops or row-houses that once faced the Vicolo delle Terme. The removal of these shops would have freed up space to the west that was taken over by the Casa di Secundus Tyrannus Fortunatus for the creation of a peristyle, triclinium, and a suite of service rooms. Although excavation in AA008 is not yet completed, it is clear that after the construction of the ‘Great Cistern,’ the area witnessed numerous transformations and alterations in use. Several phases of opus signinum floors were recovered overlying partially preserved cisterns or cess pits, which were themselves filled with primary fills from the eruption of AD 79. Overall, the 2013 field season has done much to clarify one of the major phases of development in Insula VII 6 and to facilitate the participation of this block in the discussion of Pompeian public infrastructure, domestic economy, and urban organisation from the 3rd c. BC until the 1st c. AD.
      • In June and July of 2014, the Via Consolare Project conducted stratigraphic excavations and removal of modern debris in the front room of a shop at VII 6, 14, in the atrium of the next-door house (VII 6, 10.11.16), and in the pavement directly outside of doorway VII 6, 11. The first trench (AA009), measuring 6m by 5m, occupied the majority of the front room (Room 73) of the north-eastern shop on the block. The second (AA010), covering the majority of the atrium (Room 61) and fauces (Room 60) of the property accessed by doorway VII 6, 11, measured 7m by 5m. The final trench (AA011), was 4m by 1m running between two brick piers that define this same entrance, exposing the northward continuation of features recovered within AA010. Excavation produced 33, 49, and 20 stratigraphic units respectively, but only reached natural soils via small sondages through pre-existing holes in an otherwise well-preserved _opus_ _signinum_ floor of AA 010. Excavation in AA009 neither reached full depth nor produced natural soils due to the recovery of a preserved AD 79 cellar under a partially collapsed final-phase floor. The creation of the cellar removed virtually all traces of earlier phases. Nevertheless, it was possible to identify preexisting property walls that had been reused in the creation of the shop. The shop appears to have been part of a sizeable, multi-story apartment complex that included construction of the ‘Great Cistern’ on its southern side at the same time. That the walls were designed to bear considerable loads is clear from their massive foundations and the reuse of blocks of tufo di Nocera as ashlar quoins. Excavation of eruptive material suggests the collapsed upper stories of this structure were decorated in relatively high quality decoration. Further investigation into the contents of the cellar and its state at the time of the eruption will await future field seasons. Cleaning of modern debris in AA010, produced a previously excavated but largely undocumented impluvium covered and surrounded by a mosaic of large tesserae in four different coloured stones. The sequence of building in the structure makes it plausible that the impluvium represents the reuse of earlier decorative surfaces in an otherwise relatively diminutive dwelling. Subsequent alterations to the property include the addition and removal of upper stories, the cutting of a new drain capped with tiles, one of which was stamped with the name ‘Holconius,’ and the creation of a small vaulted sacellum. Excavation of AA011 recovered evidence of modern piping running along the northern sidewalk of the block, but also the continuation of the drain from AA010. At depth, evidence of a charcoal rich, ritual foundation deposit, possibly related to a change in the insula frontage or sidewalk kerbing awaits further investigation. Overall, the 2014 field season augmented the understanding of changes related to the creation of the ‘Great Cistern’ and situated the development of this block into its wider urban context between the 3rd c. BC and the 1st c. AD.
      • In June and July of 2015, the Via Consolare Project conducted stratigraphic excavations and analysis of standing remains in the area of the Villa delle Colonne a mosaico as a part of on-going research into the chronology, urban development, and utilization of the properties along the Via Consolare, from Pompeii’s surburbium to its forum. Excavation involved the continuation a trench initiated but not completed in 2009 (AA005). This trench, measuring 10.5m by 2.5m, was situated within the raised platform upon which the Villa sits, between the core of the Villa proper and a row of six columns on its southern side. Running centrally through the trench, an apparently unpublished earlier sondage had removed ancient stratigraphy but for the western and northern sides of the area. This permitted relatively deep excavation to be undertaken via stepped removal of the modern backfill. Excavation produced 58 stratigraphic units, recovering traces in section of a volcanic sand deposit that likely overlies natural soils. The general phases of activity recovered in the excavation began with a relatively deep natural topography, and some early levelling deposits. Phase 2 witnessed the primary construction of the central Villa core with walls and use surfaces more than a meter below the current Villa thresholds. Phase 3 saw the addition of a raised platform and six columns on the southern side of the Villa along with several additional columns inside the core structure and a drain running southward from its centre. Evidence of the construction process for the western retaining wall were preserved in the form of layout lines scored directly into the Villa's exterior. At a point after this, the Villa was hemmed in by the construction or reconstruction of a row of shops and associated back rooms to the west, which perhaps shortly thereafter received a water pipe that ran through the portico. At this point too, another drain was added, putting the previous drain out of use. These changes appear to relate to the addition or modification of upper stories to the Villa and the transformation of the core of the Villa into a service wing, activities which may be provisionally and circumstantially dated to roughly the Claudian period. Continued floor raising and related modifications to the second drain characterised the final ancient phase observed in AA005 (Phase 6), a period that throughout the Villa witnessed the creation of some of its most distinctive characteristics, including the large viridarium that occupied the backs of the tombs and the eponymous mosaic columns. A final phase of change visible in these walls involving yet more upper storey access, was not reflected in the deposits of AA005. Overall, investigations in 2015 have revealed important information about the surprising depth of the original topography of the area, suggesting that much of what is now observed is the result of large-scale levelling activities. Traces of further 'Oscan' burials such as were found in the area of the viridarium, have not yet been recovered in the area of the Villa.
      • This season involved the initiation of two new trenches, both situated in areas outside of the Villa core. The first, measuring 6 by 5 meters (AA012), spanned the area between the shops along the east side of the Via dei Sepolcri and the core of the Villa delle Colonne a mosaico, including parts of two rooms located where the southwest corner of the early Villa core met with the later additions of vaulted supporting structures. Excavation produced 31 stratigraphic units and revealed that this part of the structure had not been fully excavated of eruptive material. Removal of layers of lapilli and ash produced extensive information about both the eruption, revealed the final phase condition of these rooms, and uncovered evidence of several phases of development during the latter part of the life of the area. It is clear that during the construction of the shops to the west of the Villa (Phase 4), the zone in between them also received a series of vaulted corridors with adjoining rooms, likely in two stories, which served to raise the elite elements of the Villa on a raised platform. Subsequently, the area was outfitted with a drain and opus signinum catchment designed to evacuate large quantities of liquid from an as yet unidentified source. In a change possibly to be associated with the earthquake(s) of 62 CE, the area was then downgraded and filled with rubbish and a large dolium for water storage. Rooms previously belonging to the Villa became elements of the western shops at this time. The eruption itself first carried elements of domestic material into the area, then caused the vaulting above it to collapse. The second trench (AA013), measuring roughly 9 by 5 meters, was located against a row of tombs south of the Villas entrances in a triangular space of uncertain function. Here, excavation revealed many levels of deposited soil, the final layers of which were clearly the result of the construction of the tombs themselves. Three of these tombs may now be sequenced as a roughly contemporary. A surprisingly municipal-scale drain was found also to have been constructed in concert with these tombs. A single cremation burial in a pottery urn was recovered from one of the few areas not disturbed by Maiuri’s interventions of 1935. Natural soils and the earliest phases in the area were not encountered owing to the significant depth of deposits, but the final phase clearing and/or rebuilding of the drain was also apparent in the form of a final-phase open trench filled with eruptive material.
      • In June and July of 2017, 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. Two trenches from 2016 were reopened and brought to conclusion, while two further subsurface investigations were undertaken to establish the extent of previous excavation in the area and to clarify features that had only been published cursorily. The first reopened trench (AA012) included as much as possible of a room adjoining to the western cryptoporticus that had been uncovered in the previous season. This room similarly was filled with eruption debris that had only been partially explored during the initial excavations. Further excavation in this area produced a further 18 stratigraphic units, revealing that during the final years of the city, the lower storey of this space had been filled from top to bottom with complete and largely complete fragments of amphorae and other pottery, putting it entirely out of use. Thereafter, a cistern head and drain were built at the level of the first floor, the latter draining into the former lower storey of the cryptoporticus of the Villa situated to its east. Such dramatic alterations served to transform the nature of these areas, and are analogous to the changes that took place within the cryptoporticus that were described in the Scheda of 2016. It is likely that they were motivated by damage caused by the earthquake(s) of 62/3 CE. The second reopened trench (AA013) reached deeper levels of deposits uncovered in 2016 and served to connect these activities with the northern-most tomb in the area (tomb 6). A series of thick, extremely hard-packed deposits were likely related to this tomb’s construction and later modification since they were filled with chips of Nocera tuff from the tomb itself. The remaining tombs in the area (7, 8, and 9) were also confirmed to date from the final years of the site, while the municipal-scale trench recovered last year remained enigmatic. The two new trenches, undertaken in the centre of the viridarium (AA014) and within the decorated fauces (N.12) (AA015), provided a window onto the degree of previous modern sub-surface excavation that the Villa has experienced – first in the search for Oscan/Samnite graves and subsequently for the removal of the mosaic columns themselves. Such explorations appear to have removed a massive layer of ancient fills, even undermining drains and other features. Nevertheless traces of a thick ancient fill that served to raise the elevation of the Villa in these areas and to bury the earlier cemetery was recovered. A deposit of ash and pigment recovered below this might have related to activities intended to ritually put the area out of use. It was also confirmed that the expansion of the Villa into these areas was a late phenomenon. Overall, excavation in 2017 has produced valuable new data on the development of the Villa, its chronology, and the changing sub-urban environment during the final years of the city.
      • 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.
      • In June and July of 2019, the Via Consolare Project undertook stratigraphic excavations and archaeological research in both the Villa delle Colonne a mosaico and Insula VII 6 as a part of on-going research into the chronology, urban development, and utilization of the properties along the Via Consolare, from Pompeii’s periphery to its forum. Four trenches were excavated within the Villa delle Colonne a mosaico. The first involved two small sondages (AA019w, and AA019e) at either end of long driveway for cart access to the centre of the villa. At the entrance, levels of beaten earth were recovered with the fixtures for two different phases of doorway closure, demonstrating a change from a single door to a bi-valve system. Below these, a thick layer of silt-bonded rubble and mortar may have been the only surviving traces of a feature removed with the expansion of the villa into this area - possibly the footing of a small altar tomb. Excavations at the eastern end of the corridor revealed a substantial drain running under a later stairway. Presumably this drain connected to the drain found exiting the villa in 2015 (AA005). The deposits into which the surrounding walls were cut were identified in an additional trench (AA021) that was near to the courtyard sacellum altar. These have reinforced the conclusion that the sacellum courtyard and viridarium had been extended over an area of the site that had remained largely unoccupied after its use as an Oscan-Samnite cemetery. A final trench excavated within the eastern core of the villa (AA022) in an area thought originally to have been a bath suite, produced evidence consistent with that hypothesis. Elements of a surface or podium paved with tiles, lead piping and a drain running S-E out of the room are suggestive of its use for bathing. Changes to the area involving strengthening piers were related to the upward expansion of the villa complex, while final-phase alterations, including the excavation of a new, but unused channel possibly intended for the placement of a new lead pipe were probably intended to repair damage to the system sustained in the earthquake(s) of 62/3 CE and onwards. Two trenches were also undertaken in two shops at the south-western corner of Insula VII 6 (AA023, AA024). While these were not completed in 2019, traces of opus africanum in blocks of Sarno stone and pappamonte, make it clear that in the earliest phase, these shops were areas that pertained to the Casa di Petutius Quintio (VII 6, 30.37) to the north and did not open to the south. Later changes related to the creation of the shops involved the lowering of the level in the area and the creation of cisterns, drains, and toilets. Planned completion of these trenches in 2020 will undoubtedly provide more valuable information regarding the sequence and chronology of these areas of the insula. Excavation in 2019 has therefore served to provide important new information about these areas and their development, providing further windows on the processes of urban growth and change that influenced the structures along the Via Consolare.

    FOLD&R

      • Michael A. Anderson, Claire J. Weiss , Briece R. Edwards, Megan Gorman, Daniel Jackson, Richard Hobbs, Victoria Keitel, Clare O’Bryen, Stephanie Pearson, Erin Pitt, Aurora Tucker. 2012. Via Consolare Project – 2007-2011 Field Seasons in Insula VII 6. FOLD&R Italy: 247.

    Bibliography

      • M. Anderson, 2010, Precision Recording of Pompeian Standing Remains via Stitched Rectified Photography, in B. Frischer, J. Crawford, D. Koller (eds), Making History Interactive. Proceedings of the 37th International Conference on Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology (CAA). Williamsburg, Virginia, March 22-26, 2009, Oxford: 363-372.