Tuesday 21 July 2009

Works in Region 8 & Insula Occidentalis

In mid-July while visiting the site I noticed a sign hidden just inside the entrance at 8.2.21 (part of the Sarno Baths). The sign lists on-going work being carried out in Region 8 and Insula Occidentalis, with two phases of work. I noted many areas of Region 8 undergoing repairs to the masonry and lintels of structures, including: the entrance to the Triangular Forum at 8.7.30; various properties in Region 8, insula 3, including: 8.3.4; 8.3.10-12; 8.3.13; works to the Sarno Baths and especially works to the bakery at 8.6.1,8,9,10, where the structures around the oven are being rebuilt entirely to prevent collapse of the beehive oven.

In the latter property, I had the chance to speak with the workmen who were very interested to know some of the history of the properties and its phasing, but this showed that they were not briefed the details of properties before carrying out work. I guess that this isn't essential, but some knowledge would be beneficial, especially when carrying out massive repairs, which reminded me of the scenario surrounding many of the mid-twentieth century excavations and repairs carried out by labourers. Still, the men were enthusiastic about their work and no one can argue that the repairs aren't badly needed.

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