In October a trial trench was dug in the northern sector of the Vicolo del Fauno which, together with the Vicolo della Fullonica, was never paved. Thus it was possible to investigate the earliest phases of the roads’ use and document the various maintenance interventions undertaken according to the needs of the owners of the properties facing onto them.
The excavation revealed at least six phases, from the earliest level which preceded the urbanisation of the area until the time of the eruption. The beaten surfaces of Samnite and Republican date were of particular interest, both as regards the extension and the state of preservation, confirming that before the Samnite period no buildings were erected facing onto the road. In fact, the well-preserved beaten surface of the Hellenistic period dating to between the end of the 4th and the beginning of the 3rd century B.C., present in trench II in 2007 was not found. This had been made using the waste materials from the construction of the façade of domus VI, XI, 4.17, and must have been laid down on the initiative of the owner of this house.
Various phases were reconstructed regarding the creation and enlargement of the sidewalks, in relation to the transformations in layout and function of the houses using them.
Lastly, a succession of four beaten surfaces of imperial date was identified. They were very badly-preserved with respect to the earlier ones and attested greater wear as well as the changes in function of the houses and shops facing onto the road, transformed into a market-garden (VI, 11, 3) or animal stall (VI, 9, 13).
Citation: Simona Formola. 2011.