Tuesday 26 July 2011

Pompeii on BBC Radio 4: Andrew Wallace-Hadrill on reconstructing ruins

Some of you may have heard a familiar voice this morning on BBC Radio 4 with Andrew Wallace-Hadrill and Caroline Lawrence speaking on the reconstruction of ruins at Pompeii. Lawrence speaks in favour of establishing a Pompeian model of the Dutch Archaeon, while Wallace-Hadrill is against it for reasons of funding the conservation of Pompeii rather than directing money elsewhere.

The broadcast is available here on BBC iPlayer for 7 days (interview at 2h54min).

Wednesday 20 July 2011

Event tonight for those in Kings Lynn

If you happen to be online now and in Kings Lynn (!!), you might be interested in this event featuring Andrew Wallace-Hadrill on Pompeii and Herculaneum.

Monday 18 July 2011

Book: Roman Toilets

For all those interested in Roman toilets (and yes, there do seem to be a lot of you!) there's a new publication just out: Roman Toilets: their archaeology and cultural history.
The book stems from a workshop held in Rome in 2007 and its index can be downloaded here. One case study concerns Herculaneum by HCP archaeologist Domenico Camardo.
Reviews of the book aimed at a more general reader are inevitably going to follow the style of this one: "Roman toilets were quite stinky, large international study reveals."

Friday 15 July 2011

An open letter to Vesonius Primus, official of Pompeii, 79 AD

This made me chuckle, from the History of the Letter Blog:
An open letter to Vesonius Primus, official of Pompeii, 79 AD

As one of your constituents, I must take grave issue with your characterizations of the developing “Vesuvius situation.” My family has lived in Pompeii for many years. My father was an important member of this community. I am writing both as a citizen of Rome and in my official capacity as secretary of the Pompeiian Small Business League, to warn that any rash actions with respect to the increasing earthquaking and sputtering could have dire consequences for the business community. Worryingly, the spectre of increased taxation could lead businesses to move to other towns in Italy.
Read the whole letter here.

Thursday 14 July 2011

Thanks and Maintainance Question

Hi everyone,

firstly with our 2011 season finished in the field for the Pompeii Food and Drink Project, on behalf of Dr. Betty Jo Mayeske and the rest of the team for season 2011 I want to extend our thanks to the following people and groups for allowing the team to visit your sites and catch up with what you are doing in the field.
A very sincere thank you to Greta Stefani (Boscoreale Antiquarium),Girolamo Ferdinando De Simone (Appoline and Soma Vesuvius Projects), Sarah Court and Sophie Canteneur(HCP)and Steve Ellis (Porta Stabia Project).

As I am working on a thesis paper on current conseravation and site management of Pompeii I guess I was open to being more aware this season of conservation work within the scavi. I seemed to notice a much more visible presence in the field this year of conservators at work. Certainly more than I feel I have in the past. Does anyone working in the field this season have a similar opinion or was I just more aware this year? I'd be interested in your thoughts.


Rob Brown

Plea for help!

Hi everyone,

I do apologize for going about this in this manner, but desperate times call for desperate measures! I'm wondering if anyone out there has a copy (or knows where I can get a copy) of the site management plan for Pompeii (specifically the one they put together for UNESCO)? I'm hoping to get a chance to look at it for my research but I have had no luck getting any firm answers as to it's location from the SANP.

If anyone has a copy laying around (or knows where I can get access to it), please get in touch! You would be a lifesaver!


Wednesday 13 July 2011

Newspaper article: «Google e la Apple in fila per Pompei»

In Corriere del Mezzogiorno:
«Google e la Apple in fila per Pompei»
Il sottosegretario Villari in visita agli scavi:il sito fa gola ai grandi gruppi mondiali. Pronte nuove assunzioni

NAPOLI— Quattro ore sotto il sole in compagnia della soprintendente Teresa Elena Cinquantaquattro e del direttore degli Scavi Antonio Varone. Il sopralluogo del sottosegretario ai Beni culturali Riccardo Villari a Pompei era già previsto. Ma ieri ha avuto una ragione in più per effettuarlo: la maxi biglietteria da cinque milioni di euro mai aperta perché manca una condotta d’aria e le domus restaurate con i fondi Por e ancora sbarrate da cancelli.

Cosa le è sembrato, sottosegretario?
«Quando si va nell’area archeologica di Pompei, si passeggia in una città che ha oltre millecinquecento case. E’ chiaro che gestirle è complicato soprattutto quando si ha poco personale. Sono stato anche alla nuova biglietteria di Porta Anfiteatro. Ci sono problemi; luci e ombre ma io sono ottimista e ho visto più luci».
Read the full article/interview here.

Newspaper article: Scavi, sequestrati i materiali del restauro al Teatro Grande

In Pompei Notizie Comuni-Italiani.it:
Scavi, sequestrati i materiali del restauro al Teatro Grande
E’ ormai in fase avanzata l’attività d’indagine coordinata dalla Procura della Repubblica di Torre Annunziata sulla regolarità dei lavori di maquillage effettuati sul Teatro Grande di Pompei. Attesi a breve nuovi avvisi di garanzia.

Dopo aver disposto il sequestro del materiale scenico utilizzato per gli spettacoli (impianto luci, tubi, arredi, assi dei gradoni e del palco), la Procura ha incaricato in questi giorni la Guardia di Finanza di completarne l’inventario per stabilire il reale valore dei materiali acquistati e degli interventi di restauro realizzati per adattare l’antica arena ad ospitare alcuni concerti di musica classica del Teatro San Carlo di Napoli.
Read the full article here.

Monday 11 July 2011

UNESCO Committee Results

The results from UNESCO's visits to Pompeii after the collapses have been released (actually they have been out for a while but I only managed to get through the document today).

Here is the link to the whole document is below if anyone in interested, there is also mention of the Historic Centre of Naples # 96 and 97.

Summary of Results:

96. Archaeological Areas of Pompei, Herculaneum and Torre Annunziata (Italy) (C 829)
1. Having examined Document WHC-11/35.COM/7B.Add,

2. Recalling Decision 33 COM 8D, adopted at its 33rd session (Seville, 2009),

3. Notes with deep concern the collapses that occurred at the property in November 2010 and urges the State Party to address the underlying conditions that have contributed to the collapses, as a matter of urgency;

4. Also notes the conclusions of the joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS advisory mission to the property that while the collapses in November 2010 did not compromise the Outstanding Universal Value of the property, nevertheless the underlying conditions could threaten the Outstanding Universal Value if they remain unaddressed in the short term;

5. Deeply regrets that neither the World Heritage Centre nor the mission were informed about the construction of a large concrete building north of the Porta di Nola at the Pompei portion of the property and also urges the State Party to provide the World Heritage Centre with detailed information on this project for review;

6. Requests the State Party to inform the World Heritage Centre regularly and in due time about any building project planned in the vicinity of the property in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines;

7. Also requests the State Party to give priority to work programmes dealing with the backlog in conservation and management of the property and to:
a) review the management plan to include a public use plan and risk management plan as well as provisions to regulate and control development at the vicinity of the property,
b) ensure that there are adequate qualified staff and contractors for the restoration and maintenance of the property,
c) develop and implement measures to monitor conditions and use of the property, including the updating of the Geographic Information System (GIS) for Pompei,
d) design and install effective drainage systems,
e) identify and secure the required technical and financial resources in order to carry out an effective programme of conservation and maintenance of the property;

8. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre a Statement of Outstanding Universal Value by 1 February 2012;

9. Requests furthermore the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission during 2012 in order to assess the progress achieved in implementing the measures outlined above;

10. Finally requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2013, a report on the state of conservation of the property and on the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 37th session in 2013, with a view to considering, in the case of confirmation of ascertained or potential danger to the Outstanding Universal Value, the possible inscription of the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Tuesday 5 July 2011

Article: Perspective Systems in Roman Second Style Wall Painting

The latest American Journal of Archaeology is out now and includes the following:

Philip Stinson, Perspective Systems in Roman Second Style Wall Painting. AJA 115.3 (July 2011)

There is still much to be learned about architectural perspective from the study of Roman wall paintings dating to the first century B.C.E. This article demonstrates that Second Style wall paintings of houses and villas in Rome and Campania hold evidence for different types of perspective: convergence perspective and parallel perspective. A special variation involves multiple systems of convergence perspective. Analyses of these different perspective systems and reconstructions of painters’ methodologies demonstrate the sensitivity and adaptability of wall painters to the physical and social parameters of Roman domestic space. The use of different perspective systems reflects the role of painters in crafting the complex form of perspective found in Second Style wall painting. While being adjustable to many variables, the type of perspective found in the Second Style offered viewers impressions of perspectival convergence, a visual function analogous to contemporary applications of perspective in other media, such as architects’ drawings and theater scenery painting.

Newspaper article: Mura romane dagli scavi del metrò Spunta l'ippodromo di Neapolis?

Roman remains found in the historical centre of Naples during work relating to the new metro line:
Mura romane dagli scavi del metrò
Spunta l'ippodromo di Neapolis?

Resti di opus reticolatum: nei pressi del cantiere sorgeva la struttura sportiva dell'antica città
Nuove interessanti scoperte archeologiche affiorano in via Nolana, in pieno centro storico di Napoli (zona Rettifilo). Lo scavo iniziato un anno fa a seguito dei lavori per la realizzazione del pozzo di ventilazione della nuova metropolitana di Napoli, ha riportato alla luce resti di fondazioni precedenti al risanamento. Ora tocca alle mura d’epoca romana. 
Read the full article in the Corriere del Mezzogiorno and watch a video here.

Monday 4 July 2011

Newspaper article: Pompei, reperti archeologici ritrovati in un tunnel

Sigh, some idiot dug a tunnel from his house into an unexplored villa outside Pompeii (no more detail about location).
Pompei, reperti archeologici ritrovati in un tunnel
Alcuni reperti archeologici sono stati ritrovati a Pompei (Napoli) dai carabinieri. I reperti erano nascosti in un tunnel scavato in un prossimità di un'abitazione privata. I militari stanno eseguendo ulteriori accertamenti su quanto ritrovato. 
Read the full article in La Repubblica here.

Friday 1 July 2011

Newspaper article: Pompei: soprintendente Cinquantaquattro, pronti a recupero sito archeologico

In today's La Repubblica:
Pompei: soprintendente Cinquantaquattro, pronti a recupero sito archeologico
"Non appena arriveranno le risorse e sara' assunto il personale saremo pronti a mettere in atto il recupero di Pompei secondo il programma approvato dal Consiglio Superiore per i Beni Culturali del ministero l'8 giugno". Teresa Elena Cinquantaquattro, soprintendente alle aree archeologiche di Napoli e Pompei, parlando con l'ADNKRONOS commenta in modo positivo il fatto che la manovra finanziaria non tocchera' gli investimenti su Pompei e le relative assunzioni del personale come previsto dall'ultimo decreto sviluppo. "Sono molto lieta -spiega il soprintendente- che il ministro abbia annunciato il mantenimento dei fondi per l'area archeologica di Pompei. Ma soprattutto sono lieta che abbia annunciato il mantenimento dell'assunzione del personale cosi' come previsto". Al centro del lavoro di tutela del sito ci saranno, chiarisce Cinquantaquattro "degli interventi di messa in sicurezza dell'intera area archeologica. Ma -precisa- ci saranno anche interventi piu' puntuali di restauro delle singole domus, secondo una scala di priorita' dettata da un sistema di monitoraggio sul sito".
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