Wednesday, 19 November 2014

News: Vases in Pompeii Reveal Panic Before Eruption

From Discovery News:
'Vases in Pompeii Reveal Panic Before Eruption
'French and Italian archaeologists digging out a pottery workshop in Pompeii have brought to light 10 raw clay vases, revealing a frozen-in-time picture of the exact moment panicked potters realized they were facing an impending catastrophe.

The vases were found sealed under a layer of ash and pumice from Mount Vesuvius' devastating eruption of 79 A.D. and it appears they were just ready to be fired.

They were dropped and abandoned, along with the kilns, after frightened potters saw a pine tree-shaped column of smoke bursting from Vesuvius on Aug. 24, 79 A.D.

Reaching nine miles into the sky, the column began spewing a thick pumice rain. Like many Pompeii residents, the scared potters probably rushed in the streets, trying to leave the city.

"They abandoned the workshop and everything they were doing at that moment," dig director Laëtitia Cavassa of the Center Jean Bérard, told Discovery News. The pottery workshop was found in the area just outside the Herculaneum Gate. It consists of at least three rooms and two kilns.'
Continue reading here.

Does anyone know where this excavation is taking place? Is it that completely ruinous shop outside the Herculaneum Gate that the guidebooks claim was a pottery? Can anyone share any more details about the excavation?

6 comments:

Miko Flohr said...

Yes, and they have actually been publishing quite a lot already, though not so much on the raw vessels. See http://cefr.revues.org/1139

Jo Berry said...

Brilliant! Thank you! This is really interesting. I always thought that pottery shop was just wishful thinking. Now I discover there was a shop there from the late 2nd century BC. We need to excavate more shops. I am sure it would change our understanding of the development of the city.

Sera Baker said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sera Baker said...

I'd love to further understand the development of the shops outside the city walls, so if you ever want to start or join a project doing something like this so that the development of the city is expanded, please say! :)

Miko Flohr said...

Sera, I know about a project doing precisely that kind of stuff... http://buildingtabernae.org/

Jo Berry said...

Miko, does your project involve excavation, or is it a study of the existing standing structures? I'd be interested to know how confident you are about the chronological development of the tabernae. Have you written anything on this?

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