Field Campaign 2000
Prof Anne-Marie Leander Touati, SU: project director
Dr Phil Margareta Staub Gierow, SU, stationed at Archäologisches Institut, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität, Freiburg: field director
Doc Arja Karivieri, SU: field director
Peter Liljenstolpe, UU: archaeologist
FK Ezequiel Pinto-Guillaume: architectural drawings, ceramics specialist and chief finds illustrator
Dr Phil Reinhard Meyer-Graft, conservator: plaster analysis, consultant
Agneta Freccero, conservator: plaster analysis
Rebeca Kettunen, conservator: plaster analysis, assistent
Richard Holmgren, UU: draughtsperson
FK Emanuel Savini, SU: total station survey
FK Maria Johansson, GU: total station survey
Daniel Högberg, UU: assistant
Michel Hagedorn, GU: assistant
Berit Kaussel, GU: assistant
MA Thomas Staub, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität, Freiburg: assistant, logistics
Henrik Prohászka, volunteer
Financial support from the Swedish Institute in Rome made a first campaign of the Swedish Pompeii Project possible in the autumn of 2000. Then director of the institute, Anne-Marie Leander Touati, also became director of the project, whereas Margareta Staub Gierow directed the fieldwork with the assistance of Arja Karivieri.
The field documentation of Insula V 1 commenced with the following three houses: Casa del Torello di bronzo (V 1,7) under the responsibility of Peter Liljenstolpe, Casa degli Epigrammi greci (V 1,18) under the responsibility of Margareta Staub Gierow, and the Annex of Casa di Caecilius Iucundus (V 1,23) under the responsibility of Arja Karivieri. To assist the documentation work was a team consisting of conservator Agneta Freccero, draughtsperson Richard Holmgren, architect Ezequiel Pinto-Guillaume and five assistants with separate tasks. Conservator and plaster specialist Reinhard Meyer-Graft was engaged in order to train the project’s conservator in the plaster analysis methods he has employed in earlier work at Pompeii. During this first field season, several different documentation methods were tried for later evaluation.
Work in Casa del Torello di bronzo (V 1,7)
Liljenstolpe, assisted by Johansson, constructed a plan of the building by measuring the stucture with a total station. Pinto-Guillaume established the height of the atrium and drew the façade of the house as well as other details of architectural importance. Holmgren, assisted by Kaussel, copied the frescoes of room 8 on plastic film and photographed the walls. The whole building was also photographically documented to aid the making of section and elevation drawings. Hagedorn, Högberg and Prohászka assisted in the cleaning and clearing of some areas within the building, as e.g. the peristyle, the kitchen and the private baths.
Work in Casa degli Epigrammi greci (V 1,18)
Staub Gierow carried out a thorough examination of many rooms in the building. The height and length of the walls in rooms a (vestibulum, fauces), b (atrium), c (cubiculum), d (triclinium), e (ala), f (cubiculum), g (tablinum) and h (andron) were measured, while detailed investigations and written descriptions of masonry and other architectural features were carried out in each of these rooms. With the help of Högberg, Hagedorn and Staub, the floors and thresholds of all of the above rooms were cleaned for documentation. The object of these investigations was not only to establish the appearance of the house in the year 79 AD, but to map out the history of the building: to identify the phases of rebuilding and extension work in antiquity and to list the damage and repairs that the house has been subjected to in the last 250 years or so, after the house was excavated. In addition, large parts of the ancient water supply and drainage systems were uncovered, tracing the relationship between the eastern part of the building, the impluvium and the waste water drain with its cesspit in the street. It was unfortunately observed that several sections of water pipes and other hydraulic installations are now missing.
Meyer-Graft supervised conservator Freccero and her assistant Kettunen in sampling and analysis methods of wall plaster. Such analyses have been employed by the German Häuser in Pompeji project for 20 years and Staub Gierow has incorporated the plaster results in her earlier research on four Pompeiian houses. The plaster analyses are important for the identification of wall painting styles and for the dating of building phases. Where remaining wall paintings can be dated and, at the same time, be associated with a certain type of plaster, the implication is that the plaster type can be used as an identification tool. When the actual paintings have faded beyond recognition and only plaster remains, there is still the possibility to chart the wall painting styles of the building. Many of the walls have been repainted repeatedly, sometimes for renovation and at other times to follow the fashion, leaving several layers of plaster on top of each other. In such circumstances, plaster analysis can disclose the dates of each building phase from the very first use of the house. This year, sampling in Casa degli Epigrammi greci was carried out in the peristyle and surrounding rooms, as well as in the atrium and its adjacent rooms, and no less than eight decoration phases were identified.
Holmgren, assisted by Kaussel, documented most of the frescoes that still remain in Casa degli Epigrammi greci. By attaching a plastic film to the wall, the motif of the painting was copied on a 1:1 scale with a felt pen. Where the paint has faded, the incised lines, that aided the artisan when painting, were also documented in order to identify the motifs. The plastic film will later serve as the basis for digitalised rendering and remodelling of the wall painting fragments. Holmgren also photographed the frescoes, drew the plastic stucco friezes and documented, with both plans and photographs, the impluvium and the uncovered threshold of the western part of the building.
Pinto-Guillaume, assisted alternatingly by Johansson, Hagedorn and Högberg, started the basic measuring and drawing of the architecture. Some progress was made on the documentation of the general measurements of the building, the façade and its relationship to the street and the building opposite, and the E-W longitudinal section through the whole building.
It is too early for any final evaluations of the first field season in Casa degli Epigrammi greci. It is, however, already evident that the work is generating supplementary information as well as completely new discoveries and insights.
Work in the Annex of Casa di Caecilius Iucundus (V 1,23)
Karivieri started work in House V 1,23 and its adjoining tabernas nos. 22 and 24 by clearing most floors down to the level of AD 79 with the help of Hagedorn, Högberg, Prohászka and Staub. Trial trenches were laid out in some contexts where more detailed information regarding different building phases and architectural relationships were required. Also, large parts of the drainage system were mapped out and a cesspit under the pavement at the back of the house was excavated and found to contain a large amphora.
Holmgren photographed the walls of room k and, assisted by Kaussel, produced skeleton drawings of wall paintings in the same room and copies on plastic film of some details.
In consultation with Dipl. Ing. Hans-Jürgen Beste, architect of the German DAI project, a fix point for the insula was established in accordance with the German documentation system. The DAI project borders on the Swedish Pompeii Project to the NW, on Via del Vesuvio, and it is therefore convenient that both projects use the same measuring system to make coherent plans of the area. Pinto-Guillaume, mostly assisted by Johansson, then used a total station to draw new plans of all rooms in the building, including tabernas 22 and 24, and E-W section drawings of both the northern and the southern part of the house. Furthermore, drawings of the façade, the streets in front of and behind the house, the impluvium and architectural details were produced. Plans of the neighbouring rooms of Casa di Caecilius Iucundus were also drawn since future work will include a study of how ownership and relationship between the two houses have developed during the centuries.
Report: Margareta Staub Gierow
Edited and translated into English by Monica Nilsson