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  • Panificio I 12, 1-2
  • Pompei
  • Colonia Veneria Cornelia Pompeianorum

    Credits

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    Monuments

    Periods

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    Chronology

    • 100 BC - 79 AD

    Season

      • The main objective of the “Piastrina – research on bakeries in Roman Italy” project is to define, on an archaeological basis, the chronology of the transition from purely domestic to commercial bread making, following the evolution of techniques, in particular in relation to the oven, and the organisation of productive spaces. The first step towards this aim is the creation of an exhaustive catalogue, based mainly on the sites of Pompeii and Ostia, of the various types of equipment present in the workshops: mill-stones, mixers, work tables, ovens, water supply and furnishings. Using this catalogue it will be possible to propose a faithful reconstruction of the production line in bakeries. From this it will then be possible to make a spatial analysis of the organisation of the production areas which takes into account the available spaces and how they were used to satisfy the necessities of the production line. This analysis will be necessary at Pompeii in particular, as the bakeries were located in spaces that were originally domestic and thus had to be adapted for the new activity. These problems were increased by the sismic activity which affected the city during its final years. As regards Pompeii, a production of excess flour may be hypothesized from the absence of mill-stones in some spaces which had an oven and from the existence of premises that only undertook milling. Besides, the presence of tabernae at the front of a number of bakeries suggests the sale of freshly baked bread straight out of the oven. It is also necessary to consider the possible sales outlets used by bakeries which were not attached to a taberna. The three objectives of the 2008 campaign were: to define the chronology for the setting up of the bakery; the understanding of how the mill room functioned; the understanding of the transformations within the bakery. Through the analysis of scattered elements such as half of a mill-stone reused twice – first as a mixer and then as an element within the water supply system -, or the different layouts of the mills– only three out of four had a basalt floor –, it can already be suggested that the bakery increased its size over several phases. The reinterpretation of a more or less unpublished electoral inscription ([A].[Tre]bium A[edilem), painted on the west wall of the mill room, and the blocking, in the same room of a door of the same width as those of shops, suggests that the bakery had a commercial outlet on Via dell’Abbondanza until the second half of the 70s A.D. The vegetal remains preserved in the beaten floors of the same room showed how olive stones were used as fuel for bread baking. Despite construction work still being in progress at the moment of the eruption it appears that the bakery was functioning – perhaps at a reduced level – until the last moment.
      • The main aim of the “Pistrina – bakeries in Roman Italy” project is to define the chronology of the change from domestic bread making to commercial baking, based on the archaeological evidence regarding the technical developments, in particular that of the oven and the organisation of the production areas. Following the 2008 campaign, the data from the various trenches suggested a relative chronology – still hypothetical – for the development of the bakery, from the evidence documented in the mill room. Following a phase that was perhaps the one in which the house with a workshop originated, the bakery was created by the construction of a space housing two mills. In a subsequent phase, a third mill was added to the north of the first two, following the obliteration of the workshop facing onto via dell’Abbondanza. After the earthquake of 62 A.D., the architecture of the mill room was altered. All the dividing walls were demolished to create a large room with two columns to support the first floor above. The final phase, probably in the second half of the 70s A.D., saw a new increase in the bakery’s milling capacity: once the wall between the main room and room 3 was demolished a fourth mill was added, without the usual basalt paving.
      • The main objective of the “ _Pistrina_ – ricerca sui panifici dell’Italia romana” project is to define, on the basis of the archaeological evidence, the chronology of the transition from domestic to commercial baking, following the technical developments, in particular those of the oven and the organisation of the productive spaces. Following the preceding campaigns, the open area excavation of the mill-room produced the data for a hypothetical chronology of the bakery’s development, revised from that suggested in 2009. The first, perhaps original phase, was attested by a house (not dated) which included a shop. The bakery was created in the Tiberian period ( _terminus post quem_: 22 A.D. from numismatic evidence) with the construction of a space containing two millstones. Subsequently, following the 62 A.D. earthquake, two rooms were dug out, reaching the level of the earlier eruptions, perhaps in order to check the state of the foundations. Following this a third mill was added to the north of the first two, after the demolition of the shop facing onto via dell’Abbondanza. The mill-room was altered by the addition of a column. The final phase, which probably dates to the second half of the A.D. 70s , saw the enlargement of the bakery’s milling capacity: once the dividing wall between the main room and room 3 had been demolished, a fourth mill was added, without the usual basalt floor.
      • In this bakery, the fourth and final campaign took place in the mill-room, around the oven and in the room housing the mixing/kneading machine. The elements uncovered this year have provided evidence for a far more reliable chronology, and unified the excavations in all three rooms. The original phase of the house – not yet dated – was only glimpsed in the mill-room with the discovery of a cistern-head. After a first collapse of the vault, the cistern was filled in. During these first phases there was a channel running the length of the house. The bakery was only installed in a later phase, in the Tiberian era (terminus post quem 22 A.D. provided by a coin find). In its first phase, the bakery comprised two mills and a shop/workshop. The setting up of the bakery required some structural changes: two rooms were converted into a single space, a column substituting the razed wall. It is likely that the room to the south-east of the mills housed the kneading machine at this time. The oven, without a partition wall, was situated in the back of the house, and to the south there was a garden. Around about the time of the 62/63 A.D. earthquake, the restructuring work came to a halt in order to make the necessary repairs to the mill-room. There, two rooms were excavated down to the levels of the earlier eruptions, perhaps in order to check on the state of the foundations following the quake. Subsequently, a third mill was added to the north of the first two, following the obliteration of the shop/workshop facing onto the via dell’Abbondanza. The mill-room was altered by the addition of a column. To the south, the garden was obliterated and in its place a latrine, a room for the kneading machine, a collection point for rainwater and possibly an animal stall were created. The oven was enlarged, perhaps rebuilt, with the construction of a partition wall, which required an alteration in the line of the small drainage channel. To the north, plumbing relating to a lead boiler in the new oven was added. The final phase, probably in the second half of the 70s A.D., saw a new increase in the bakery’s milling capacity: the dividing wall between the main room and room 3 was demolished and a fourth mill was added, but without the usual basalt floor. Perhaps at the same moment, the kneading room was enlarged; the preparation tables were rearranged thus creating more places for dough preparation.

    FOLD&R

      • Nicolas Monteix . 2009. Pompéi, recherches sur les boulangeries de l’Italie romaine. FOLD&R Italy: 168.

    Bibliography

      • N. Monteix, 2009, Pompéi, recherches sur les boulangeries de l’Italie romaine, in MEFRA 2009, 1: 323-335.
      • N. Monteix, 2010, Pompéi, recherches sur les boulangeries de l’Italie romaine, in MEFRA 2010, 1: 275-282 (in particolare 278-281).
      • N. Monteix, 2011, “Pompéi, recherches sur les boulangeries de l’Italie romaine”, MEFRA, 1, in corso di stampa.