Pompeii - Campania, Italy
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Trail Blaisers
N 40° 45.000 E 014° 29.000
33T E 456383 N 4511133
Quick Description: Buried by the pumice and ash of Mt Vesuvius in AD 79, Pompeii was eventually forgotten until 1748 when excavation began. Although controversy over the support for preservation continues today, this is a site of global importance.
Location: Campania, Italy
Date Posted: 3/15/2014 2:57:43 AM
Waymark Code: WMKBJH
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member BarbershopDru
Views: 12

Long Description:
The following text is largely excerpted (while being abbreviated) from (visit link) and (visit link)

Buried by the pumice and ash of Mt Vesuvius in AD 79, Pompeii was eventually forgotten until 1748 when excavation began. Although controversy over the support for preservation continues today, this is a site of global importance.

The excavations at Pompeii offers an intact vision of daily life in a Roman society in all its aspects. In its buildings - from the monumental to the most simple - the ancient world appears in all its complexity, with great clarity.

Exploration of the ancient site started in an area called 'Civita' in 1748. This was found to be a comparatively easy task, because the debris was light and not compacted. The excavation was carried out essentially in order to find art objects. Many artefacts considered suitable for the private collection of the Bourbon king Charles III (reigned 1759-88) were removed, and transported to Naples - where they remain to this day, displayed in the Museo Nazionale. Meanwhile, other wall paintings were stripped from the walls and framed, and yet other artefacts and wall paintings were damaged or irreparably destroyed.

By the end of the 18th century, two wide areas had been uncovered: the Quartiere dei Teatri with the Tempio d'Iside, and the Via delle Tombe with the Villa di Diomede. Two of the archaeologists most connected with this phase were Karl Weber and Francesco La Vega, who wrote detailed diary accounts of the works they carried out, and made very precise designs of the buildings being uncovered.

During the period of French control of Naples an itinerary was drawn up to accommodate the visits of scholars. As many as 1,500 were employed and this concentration of effort resulted in the Foro, the Terme, the Casa di Pansa, the Casa di Sallustio and the Casa del Chirurgo all being excavated.

Giuseppe Fiorelli directed the Pompeii excavation from 1863 to 1875 - introducing an entirely new system for the project. Instead of uncovering the streets first, in order to excavate the houses from the ground floor up, he imposed a system of uncovering the houses from the top down - a better way of preserving everything that was discovered. Fiorelli also developed the use of plaster casts to recreate the forms of plants and human bodies.

Michele Ruggiero, Giulio De Petra, Ettore Pais and Antonio Sogliano, continued Fiorelli's work in the following years, and during the last 20 years of the century began to restore the roofs of the houses with wood and tiles - in order to protect the remaining wall paintings and mosaics inside.

Vittorio Spinazzola, starting from around 1910, uncovered Via dell'Abbondanza, which goes from west to east all along the length of the town. He reconstructed the façades of the houses along this street with their balconies, upper floors and roofs. In doing so he demonstrated how it was possible both to understand the dynamics of how the buildings had been buried in the first place, and also what the original structure of the houses had been - thus making it possible to restore them accurately.

Alfonso De Franciscis became director of excavations in 1964 and emphasized the restoration of buildings that had already been uncovered. Only the magnificent Casa di Polibio was uncovered in this period.

Following him, Fausto Zevi and Giuseppina Cerulli Irelli had to work hard to resolve the problems caused in Pompeii by the earthquake of 1980. Then in 1984 Baldassare Conticello started an extensive and systematic restoration of buildings in Regio I and II, where excavation work had already been completed.

The present director, Pietro Giovanni Guzzo (who started in 1994) has had to confront many management and financial problems in order to plan the finishing of excavations and the complete restoration of the buildings. A few years ago, Pietro Giovanni Guzzo declared a moratorium on all further excavations of both sites. As then superintendent, he decided that all funds should be diverted into preserving the excavated remains, rather than excavating more when massive amounts of work is still needed on the areas already unearthed. This has caused controversy amongst historians and archaeologists, and has become the centre of the debate on whether to focus on conservation or excavation.
Type: Ruin

Fee: yes

1st April – 31st October: daily from 8.30 am to 7.30 pm (admission closes at 6 pm) 1st November – 31st March: daily from 8.30 am to 5 pm (admission closes at 3.30 pm)

Related URL: [Web Link]

Visit Instructions:
Original photographs showing additional views of the Ruin/Remnant or even just its current condition are encouraged. Please describe your visit, especially if no additional photos are available. Did you like the Ruin or Remnant? What prompted you to see the Ruin or Remnant?
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