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New excavations near the Porta Stabia at Pompeii, VIII.7.1-15

-- S.J.R. Ellis and G. Devore


This paper presents the preliminary results from the first two seasons
of the ‘Pompeii Archaeological Research Project: Porta Stabia’ (2005 –
2006). Our project is bringing to light the southeast corner of Insula
VIII.7, a largely forgotten corner of Pompeii in spite of its potential
for enlightening Pompeian and Roman studies. All of the buildings
fronted onto the Via Stabiana, one of the primary streets of the city,
just inside one of the busiest gates, the Porta Stabia. The southern
zone of the insula was built against the city fortifications, while the
western and northern limits adjoined, respectively, the Quadriporticus
and Odeon of the so-called 'Entertainment District'. The Project aims
to unravel the sequence of building programmes for these properties
through selective excavations, structural analyses, and geophysical
surveys. To do so is to reveal something of the complex relationships
between public and private space in the Roman city. Apart from
understanding the developing relationships of this unique
neighbourhood, and given the predilection of recent Pompeian
excavations to focus almost solely on élite housing, our interests have
included the recovery of a more complete Pompeian record through the
excavation of several modest and non atrium style habitations.

Our preliminary studies have revealed the full sequence of human
occupation in the area – from identifying the important sequence of
geological events (natural and introduced) to charting the
developmental history of each of the six properties that defined the
insula in 79 CE. The piecing together of these developments is
contributing to our understanding of urban activities in this corner of
the city, and of the neighbouring region. Our excavations are also
allowing for a clearer reading of the related structural history
between the buildings of VIII.7.1-15 and the Quadriporticus, Odeon, and
fortification wall.


This paper is to be presented at:

Nuove ricerche archeologiche nell’area vesuviana (scavi 2003-2006) Convegno Internazionale organizzato dalla Soprintendenza archeologica
di Pompei in collaborazione con l’Istituto Nazionale di Archeologia e Storia dell’Arte e con la Soprintendenza Speciale per il Polo Museale Romano.

Roma, Palazzo Venezia, Sala del Mappamondo, 1-3 Febbraio 2007











Copyright 2006