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  • Panificio VII 1, 25.46-47
  • Pompei
  • Colonia Veneria Cornelia Pompeianorum

    Credits

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    Monuments

    Periods

    • No period data has been added yet

    Chronology

    • 100 BC - 79 AD

    Season

      • 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. During this campaign the investigation of the abandoned bakery in the _domus_ Sirici (VII, 25.46-47) began, in particular the part which originally housed the millstones. In fact, at the time of the eruption the bakery of this large house had been dismantled and was partially occupied by a large room opening onto the main atrium of the house. The paving of basoli and the oven, which in 79 A.D. was probably no longer in use, are preserved. The investigations concentrated on the interior of two negative impressions left in the basoli by the millstones and in front of the oven itself with the aim of defining the dating for the dismantling of the bakery. The most significant results emerged from the excavation in the negative of the eastern millstone. In fact, as well as revealing the construction sequence for the installation of the millstone itself and of the basalt floor, the geological stratigraphy was reached at about 27 m a.s.l. where an _opus signinum_ structure on a mortar make up (visible thickness about 0.80 m, length about 1.50 m) appeared. It was built directly on natural and, despite its irregular profile, traced a north-south line forming a corner of about 34° with the room’s south wall. The creation of the bakery had substantially cut into this structure which, on the basis of its construction characteristics, is interpreted as a foundation. Its alignment suggests that the area’s spatial organisation was very different from that surviving today. The small surface area of the trench cannot, for the moment, provide further data for a correct interpretation which it is hoped to clarify in future campaigns. A second trench was put into the negative of the western millstone. At this point the situation was compromised by two interventions. In fact, the construction of the north-eastern corner of the large room opening onto the _atrium_ of the _domus_ Sirici stood in this position. It was built following the earthquake of 62 A.D. and thus provides a useful _terminus ante quem_ for the bakery’s abandonment. At the same point the excavation revealed evidence of work undertaken at a time post-dating the building of this room, connected with the laying of a lead _fistula_ for the provision of water to a basin situated slightly to the north. This further intervention thus provides data regarding at least two phases of the post-earthquake period of the _domus_ and the bakery. Lastly, in front of the oven, the excavation was limited, for the moment to the removal of ash residue and lapilli from the 79 A.D. eruption not cut by the modern excavation. Whilst awaiting the precise chronology with dating from the pottery evidence it can be stated that various phases, both earlier and later than the installation of the bakery, were observed.
      • This campaign continued the investigation started last year in the domus Sirici (VII 1, 25.46-47). The area under examination was extended to include the room next to the oven with the aim of documenting to what degree the remains of the bread-making production line had survived following the dismantling of the bakery. The investigation in the mill-room and in front of the oven continued, in an attempt to identify the period of the bakery’s installation and the affect this had on the structures of the ancient domus. In the first area investigated, an opus signinum floor emerged across the entire room. A fragmentary catillus was situated in the south-western corner, but it was not possible to establish whether it was used in the bread making process (proving of the dough) or whether it was placed here after the bakery had ceased to produce flour. The room’s function was confirmed by the negative traces of the masonry supports for the boards on which the loaves were shaped. In the second area, in front of the oven and in the mill-room, the investigation aimed to clarify the dynamics of the bakery’s dismantling and provide answers to questions such as whether the oven, following the cessation of flour production, had continued to be used. The structure found last year within the negative of mill 1 was seen to continue in correspondence with, to one side the entrance to the viridarium, and to the other the atrium of the domus. This construction, built directly on natural and formed by large limestone flakes in abundant earthy mortar attests a layout that was very different from that which was later to characterise the entire insula. It can be confirmed that this structure was destroyed prior to the installation of the first bakery based on the discovery of opus africanum walls aligned with the structures visible today, razed at the time of the bakery’s construction. Due to subsidence in the stratigraphy, it was not possible to investigate this situation to any depth. A large cistern, of which the extrados was visible in the western part of the room, certainly belonged to this phase. The edges of the cistern could be followed in the opus signinum floor of the adjacent room with the bread making tables. It seems that, at the moment of the bakery’s installation, this cistern remained in use while the opus africanum structures were dismantled to make room for the mills. The presence of a substantial stratigraphy rich in charcoal and olive pits suggests that the oven was still in use at the time of the eruption and, therefore, that it was used in a domestic context or, more probably, was a commercial bakery which no longer milled its own flour. Unfortunately, the excavations were abruptly halted for safety reasons because of subsidence in the stratigraphy, probably caused by the collapse of the cistern below the area. This may have occurred at the moment of the 79 A.D. eruption or in concomitance with the seismic activities linked to eruptions in the modern era.

    Bibliography

      • N. Monteix 2010, Pompéi, recherches sur les boulangeries de l’Italie romaine, in Melanges de l\'Ecole francaise de Rome, 1, 275-282.
      • N. Monteix 2009, Pompéi, recherches sur les boulangeries de l’Italie romaine, in Melanges de l\'Ecole francaise de Rome, 1, 323-335.
      • N. Monteix c.d.s., Pompéi, recherches sur les boulangeries de l’Italie romaine, in Melanges de l\'Ecole francaise de Rome, 1.