• Pompei
  • Pompei
  • Pompeii
  • Italy
  • Campania
  • Naples
  • Pompei


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  • No period data has been added yet


  • 300 BC - 400 AD


    • The eye-catching marble-clad surfaces of Pompeii’s streetside bars have been ignored by scholars, perhaps because of their plebeian character, or the lack of research on the marble trade, or Pompeii’s history of undocumented restoration. The latter remains a problem but is perhaps overstated. Archival research validates paving with marble fragments as an ancient practice but no records let us control every bar for overzealous restoration. Nevertheless, occasional notices (in PAH, Notizie degli Scavi and Warsher’s Marmi di Pompei) and early drawings suggest that restoration has been careful, as demonstrable at bars V 4, 7, and VI 10, 1. The University of Akron Sleazy Bars project, directed by J. Clayton Fant, has studied 23 bars with 3,775 pieces of marble and will record the other ca. 25 surviving ones in June 2008. The total absence of republican stones plus evidence of reuse implicate debris from the A.D. 62 earthquake as the source. A “fanciness” index (based on marble type) shows a close correlation with density of foot traffic. This, combined with different treatment of surfaces within bars, further implies that marble from the post-earthquake cleanup was sold, not left for salvage. Finally, the range of imported stones, including ones from Egypt’s Eastern Desert, underlines the pervasiveness of the Mediterranean marble trade already in the Julio-Claudian period.


    • J. Clayton Fant, Donato Attanasio. 2009. Bars with marble surfaces at Pompeii: evidence for sub-elite marble use. FOLD&R Italy: 159.


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