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ARCHAEOLOGY OF DEATH AND BURIAL IN POMPEII - NECROPOLIS OF PORTA NOCERA
ORIGIN AND DEVELOPMENT OF A ROMAN FUNERARY LANDSCAPE (1st CENT. BC – 1st CENT. AD)
Research Program of the French school of Rome in collaboration with the university of Lille 3 (research center of Halma), Éveha International and the Soprintendenza archeological di Pompei.
A study centred on the organization of spaces and the funerary activities
This study focuses on the Roman necropolis outside a city gate of Pompeii known as the Porta Nocera. Whilst our work is centred on the organization of funerary spaces and the activities around the deceased, the excellent state of preservation of the archaeological remains offers the perfect opportunity to approach the topic more broadly and to examine all the information available about the history of the cemetery and its occupants (some of whom are well known through epigraphy), the arrangement of the tombs, and the organisation of sepulchral space (e.g. architecture, inscriptions, funerary artefacts), as well as the various funerary activities that can be reconstructed on the basis of the material (human and animal bone, ceramics, plant remains, charcoal, etc.) retrieved both on the surface levels and in the fill of the graves.
The aim of this project is, therefore, to utilise a whole range of evidence in order to define, as precisely as possible, what exactly a burial in the first century AD entailed and what attitudes towards death prevailed in a Roman community. A distinct advantage is that the context in which we work is that of a Roman colony, and it is, therefore, possible to make use of written sources in interpreting the archaeological phenomena.