POMPEII. NEW EXCAVATIONS UNDERWAY REVEAL INTACT FINDS
A deposit of amphorae emerges in the rooms behind the Schola Armatorarum
At Pompeii, we dig. We are only at the beginning of this adventure, and intact finds are already emerging, which are adding to our reading of the ancient city.
At the Schola Armaturarum, now a symbol of the rebirth of Pompeii, where the restoration of the original frescoes saved from the bombing of 1943 is underway, excavations began last July in the never-before-investigated rear rooms.
A deposit of amphorae, currently consisting of fourteen finds immersed in lapilli, has been brought to light in one of the three rooms identified behind the most famous part of the Schola Armatorarum structure.
The rediscovered intact amphorae must have contained oil, wine and fish sauces: one amphora bears painted inscriptions displaying numbers, indicating the quantities and, ostensibly, the product contained. Its use as storage in the room is confirmed by the visible graffiti on one of the walls of the room, which reaffirms its function as a warehouse.
At the end of the excavation, planned for the month of December, the amphorae will be relocated in situ, as part of the wider developing project of the ‘Widespread Museum’ that the Archaeological Park is adopting in many areas of the excavations, in order to re-contextualise finds in the places of their rediscovery.
The only room known before now was that brought to light in 1915 by Vittorio Spinazzola, which faces onto Via dell’Abbondanza. Its public and military character was clear from the beginning, due to its large size and its decoration (the trophies at the entrance and the winged and armed figures which adorn the walls). However, its exact function, as an arms deposit or school for training Pompeii’s youths, remains uncertain. The excavation of these other rooms, coming under the ‘Excavations and researches’ site, seeks to clarify precisely such aspects.
The exploration of the complete structure of the Schola is not the only intervention of its kind at Pompeii. The large excavation in Regio V, the so-called ‘wedge’ (an area of over 1000m2 in the area between the House of the Silver Wedding and the buildings to the left of Vicolo di Lucrezio Frontone), is also underway, and expected to bring to light further structures and finds from public and private rooms. In this area (on the plain of Regiones IV and V), a laboratory of archaeological study for the examination and temporary storage of finds which are uncovered will also be set up.
“We are excited about the discoveries which are emerging. - declares Massimo Osanna, Director of the Archaeological Park -Pompeii has begun a new era, one of intense archaeological research and the advancing of our understanding of the site. After its recovery, through the stabilisation of all of its Regiones, the opening of newly restored domus and the opening of entire previously closed quarters to public access, thanks to the restored accessibility of almost all urban streets, we may now dedicate ourselves to excavation too, which will be accompanied by planned maintenance and which will allow us to form new hypotheses regarding the daily life of the ancients, and in some cases give answers to unresolved questions, such as in the case of the Schola Armatorarum”.