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  • Casa di Sallustio, Regio VI.2.2-4
  • Pompei
  • Pompeii

    Credits

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    Monuments

    Periods

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    Chronology

    • 150 BC - 79 AD

    Season

      • In June and September 2005 excavations were re-opened on the _domus_ of Sallust (VI 2, 2-4), studied and published by Anne Laidlaw from 1969 onwards, with the aim of re-establishing a direct relationship with results already obtained in preceding years. In collaboration with the project “The First Centuries of Pompeii” three trenches were put into the house, one at the S-E corner of the _atrium_ ’s _cubiculum_ (38), one in the _triclinium_ area (39) and one behind the _impluvium_ at the centre of the _atrium_ (40). The excavations resolved the anomaly involving the S-E corner of the cubiculum: wall E of this room originally continued to the southern perimeter of the building, dividing the shops facing onto the Consular Road from another building which in the 2nd century B.C. was not yet a part of the House of Sallust. The data acquired from trench 39 clearly shows that originally there were no plans for a garden in the place where the triclinium was later positioned. The presence of a green area, even if to date no traces of one have been found, can only be considered if one allows for its creation in a period between the abandonment of the structures found in the trench and the construction of the rooms around the peristyle, including the _triclinium_, annexed to the House of Sallust in its later phases. Moreover, the stratigraphy confirmed the dating of the _domus_ complex to within the second half of the 2nd century B.C. thus showing that insula 2 was occupied gradually and was only completed during the course of the 2nd century B.C.
      • In April and May of 2006, we concentrated on documenting the stratigraphy inside _triclinium_ 35 and adjacent areas to the east and west, which included two soundings (SS.45 and 46) in peristyle 31 directly in front of _triclinium_ 35, and one each in shop 4 and the back rooms (5a and 5b) of _thermopolium_ 5 (SS.43 and 44). Further soundings were made in _triclinium_ 13 (S.47), on the north side or peristyle 31 (S.48), in courtyard 26 in the NW corner of the house (S.49), and in portico 21 by the exterior corner of _oecus_ 22 (S.50). In contrast to the numerous soundings made in the north section of _insula_ 2, we found no traces of habitation before the second century B.C. except for a few materials, mostly from the earlier excavations of 1970, which are clearly residual. An examination of the sterile levels, composed mainly of lava leucita and cenerite, indicates that there was an extensive clearing and leveling operation that cut into the prehistoric layer in order to build the original house, dating to the Late Samnite Period. Therefore, the hypothetical plan of the house for the mid-second century B.C., proposed by Anne Laidlaw in 1970 and reprinted successively in numerous publications, needs substantial adjustments. This plan will be updated as soon as possible, based on the study of the structure and materials presently under way at the University of Perugia and the American Academy in Rome.
      • In September 2007, we finished our third campaign of excavations in the House of Sallust in Pompeii (VI 2, 4; fig.1). Our intention is to complete an exhaustive monograph on the Domus, begun in 1969-1971 with funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities, and continued in the last three years as part of the project “I primi secoli di Pompei” directed by Professors Filippo Coarelli of the University of Perugia and Fabrizio Pesando of the University of Napoli-Orientale. All the data (photos, reports, dig notes) recorded in the earlier excavations have now been transferred to a computer, and the more recent studies have been included in this data base, presently being analysed and studied at the University of Perugia and the American Academy in Rome. Sounding 51 was opened in courtyard 26 in the SE corner of the complex, in an irregular area necessitated by the uneven allignment of the perimeter walls. The excavation was filled with dumped materials, modern toward the top and with fragments of ancient materials, including a number of pieces of painted wall plaster, mainly of the Third Style, in the lower levels. Sounding 52 was located between the left ala (17) and the atrium in a 2 x 2 m square at the base of the blocked doorway to oecus 22, in an attempted to fix the dating for the closure of this entrance. As in the rest of the atrium, the sterile stratum on which the whole house was built appeared directly below the rudus of the destroyed pavement, with a narrow builders’ trench directly in front of the blocked doorway. All the thresholds were cleaned, as well as the doorways which lacked them, and in the process Sounding 53, located in the opening between room 2 and cubiculum 16, showed that this doorway belonged to a later phase, since the razed party wall continued directly under the surface between the two rooms. The final sounding (54) was made in the west half of room 18, next to the small stair from the left ala; here, too, the sterile yellow stratum of leucitic lava appeared directly below the rudus of the pavement, but in this case at a level almost a meter higher (39.78 m asl) than in the central part of the house. This change in levels corroborates our previous conclusion that the main part of the house was built after the original surface had been cut down to provide a regular space on which to build.
      • In May 2010 we continued our study of the House of Sallust (VI 2, 4). The main purpose of this final campaign was to fill in any missing data and to check the preliminary written text of the work done up to this point. The principal research consisted in the analysis of the unedited materials in 46 crates that had been stored in the Granai of the Forum and labelled as from the excavations done by the workmen in 1969-1971 during the construction of the roof. The preliminary cleaning and examination of these materials, which included a number that did not come from this house, were done by Doctors Donnatella Frapiccini and Francesca Pambufetti. In the house itself further surveying was carried out in order to convert the recorded relative levels into absolute levels a.s.l., and a number of measurements were taken to check and/or correct the existing plans and sections. Superficial cleaning to clarify specific details was done in Rooms 18, 24, 27, and 29. In a few minor cases we also partly reinvestigated previously excavated soundings to confirm earlier information on levels. In sum, the written descriptive text was checked and corrected in relation to the present state of the existing structure of the house, and further measurements and photographs of details were made with a view to the publication of the whole complex.

    Bibliography

      • A. Laidlaw, 1993, Excavations in the Casa di Sallustio, Pompeii. A preliminary assessment, in Eius Virtutis Studiosi, Classical and Postclassical Studies in Memory of E. Brown, Waschington.
      • L. Anniboletti, V. Befani, R. Cassetta, C. Costantino, M. Antolini, T. Cinaglia, P. Leone, R. Proietti, 2007, Pompei: Progetto “Regio VI” - I primi secoli di Pompei -Aggiornamento 2007, in www.fastionline.org/docs/FOLDER-it-2007-84.pdf.
      • M S. Stella A Laidlaw, 2008, Nuove indagini nella Casa di Sallustio (VI 2, 4), in P.G.Guzzo e M.P.Guidobaldi (a cura di), Nuove ricerche archeologiche nell’area vesuviana (scavi 2003-2006), Studi della Soprintendenza archeologica di Pompei 25, Roma: 147-157.