Pompeii and Herculaneum
Posted On March 8, 2017
To what extent has tourism influenced the way the sites at Pompeii and/or Herculaneum have been managed since the 1800s
Tourism is one the largest industries in the world. Tourists provide the good and the bad towards famous heritage sites such as Pompeii and Herculaneum. Approximately more than two million people/tourists venture the site of Pompeii and approximately half a million visit Herculaneum. Tourism has had a major influence on the management of these sites, since the 1800s till the present. The continuing traffic of tourism has caused damage to the sites and arguments relating to this. Over the years, there have been signs of improvement, but there are still issues and damage to be fixed yet.
In the nineteenth century, Francois Mazois carried out and supervised an excavation team of nearly 1500 men under the short-term rule of the French King of Naples. The Forum was uncovered and also many of the major houses, such as the House of Faun in 1829 and the House of Painted Capitals in 1832. After the beginning of a major excavation, Pompeii became a well-known tourist attraction, enticing people from all around the world. During the first excavations at Pompeii and Herculaneum, excavations were done in the ???treasure hunting??™ approach. This consisted of both sites being looted, such as paintings being removed and many objects were taken out of their location without documentation and valuable information was lost about them. In 1860, Giuseppe Fiorelli became director of excavations. He was the first to work using systematic methods, moving from house to house and street to street, observing and clearing everything each step he went. He was the first to understand and take notice to the cavities left in the hardened ash.
Tourism has had a major impact on Pompeii. Tourism has raised pressures on the site such as having no walkways or viewing platforms so tourists would walk along ancient roads and footpaths damaging those ancient remains of construction. This is evident along the via dell??™Abbondanza in Pompeii where the footpath has been damaged and worn down to the same level as the road. Another pressure reaching out from the large quantity of tourists is the necessity to basically provide proper amenities, including toilets and catering and garbage facilities.
The way sites are managed plays an important role to the health and wealth of the site. Due to the poor management of the site, vandalism has been repeated. In 1993, David Mellor visited the site and described a tourist ???banging her fist against a painted plaster wall??™. Tourists tend to pick up and pocket many things, such as mosaic tiles, pieces of painted plaster and fragments of pottery or marble. Each year, every group of tourists that come to visit the ancient site of Pompeii, inconsiderately engrave their names and frivolous messages onto the ancient plastered walls. Some would even write on over fading frescoes. The litter leftovers from tourists attract unwanted animals such as rodents and insects which can also cause decay of the site by climbing, burrowing and nesting in the ruins.
Due to the poor management of the sites in the Pompeii district, the Italian Government introduced a new policy (1997). At these sites, a small amount of the admission money would go to management and conservation. The Italian government??™s new policy was that all admission fees and tourist related revenue are to be kept in the superintendent??™s budget for the sites. An additional change to this policy was the decision allowing Superintendent Guzzo to pursue private investment which raised the budgets higher. In an interview which was published in the Los Angeles Times (November 2003), Guzzo stated: ???we have much more money than before, but it??™s always too little???. Although these sites are increasing in their budgets, it is still not enough to successfully achieve all the pressures, damage and extra work to be done for them.
In source 5, the quote states:
???At the very heart of any understanding of Pompeii and its archaeology must be the demands of the tourist, who as Maiuri explained was the client of archaeology??¦???
This quote by Ray Laurence describes the importance of tourism towards the site of Pompeii. He particularly compliments the city of Pompeii, pointing out that when excavating such a site and studying the ancient remains and everyday life of this city, beware of the continuing traffic tourists will bring. He points out that Maiuri explained it as ???the client of archaeology??™, describing that tourism is necessary. It is necessary for all the work to actually take place as tourists are the ones paying to see the work which brings income to the sites and there is no point to archaeology if the people of the world aren??™t interested or can??™t see it, as archaeology is about publishing and sharing finds.
Although tourism has had an impact on how the sites are managed, however other factors have also contributed to the extent in which has influenced the way the sites are managed. The changes in poor site management are also linked. The need of appropriate management has been neglected over the years of the tourism business at Pompeii. There is no requirement for people to check in their large bags and backpacks before entering which provides easy ways to steal. Another cause for theft is the lack of guards supervising the area around and also aren??™t enough to stop tourists stepping over cordons to enter blocked off parts. The lack of guards also gives people the chance to climb on the ancient ruins and take better photographs. Despite some of the inadequacies, improvements have been evident. An example of an improvement is that more of the site is open to tourists.
The Poor Restoration Work is another impact in which is a burden on the way sites are managed. Most of the restoration work has been carried out by local firms of which have little dedicated and expert knowledge of restoration techniques. It has been evident that in some places, incorrect construction procedures have been taken out. An example of this being done is a new timber roof created on the House of Meleager in Pompeii was constructed weakly and couldn??™t hold the weight of the tiles. Because of this, it collapsed. Instead of protecting the sites, the designs and structures actually ended up damaging them. Further damage has been caused by the use of inappropriate materials. Examples of this is the use of modern concrete, plaster and mortars which contain more sat than the ancient materials which were originally used having caused more damage. Using this process of restoration, whole walls of painted plaster have been destroyed.
As mentioned above, tourism is one of the largest industries in the world. Ancient sites, such as Pompeii and Herculaneum hold such prosperity and wealth that the world would be missing out on seeing a huge part of the world??™s history if tourists were banned from the sites. Although sites need tourism, it still brings with it many issues which are causing damage to the sites and pressures to government bodies. Tourism has influenced the ways Pompeii and Herculaneum have been managed since the 1800s, as different policies have come in place to try and preserve these sites from damage from tourists and still to this day people are still trying to find ways to keep these sites from damaged any further.