Pompeii

Evaluate the role and methods of the archaeologists (19th-20th Century) who have worked at Pompeii.

Giuseppe Fiorelli worked in Pompeii between the late 1840??™s to the 1870??™s. His contributions are some of the most influential and important to Pompeian society. He introduced a method of naming and numbering houses and buildings. He divided the town into nine regions, each containing up to 22 blocks or insulaes. Each entrance in each block was given a number. In this way, each building could be identified by three numbers E.g. V.13.26.V = Region, 13 = block and 26 = the entrance. This is the system that the people of Pompeii adapted which helped in their everyday lives as each section was sectioned which allowed easy access for the people. There is documentation of artifacts; which helped Fiorelli in the slow uncovering of houses from top down and left paintings in place when possible. He injected liquid plaster into cavities from victims??™ bodies, furniture, food, animals and other materials to make plaster casts.

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Amedeo Maiuri 1924, Maiuri was installed as the chief archaeologist of Pompeii, serving as director until 1961. Maiuri??™s work in Pompeii was revolutionary ashes exposed many remains, and proposed chronologies, that are still at the focus of discussion. Amedeo Maiuri??™s work focused on one of excavations below the destruction level when he chose to excavate one of the most famous houses of Pompeii, the House of the surgeon. Maiuri was the first archaeologist to excavate below the destruction level. This meant that he was able to uncover much more of Pompeii, raising public interest in the process.
-He discovered the Cave of the Cumaean Sibyl May 1932
– Excavated Villa Jovis
– His book L??™anfoteatro flavio puteolano (1955), is considered to be the definitive monograph on the subject of the flavian Amphitheatre in Pozzuoli.

Wallace-Hadrills approach is more scientific than some methods which have been tried, such as relating a towns population to the seating capacity of its theatre or amphitheatre, which have resulted in preposterously high population figures for some ancient towns.
His team is more focused in preserving the towns and takes great care in the methods.Using this evidence he compares plans of housing blocks at Olynthus, where individual house units are extremely regular, with those of Pompeii and Herculaneum where the enormous disparity in house sizes suggests a society with very unequal distribution of wealth. In view of this disparity he classifies Pompeian houses in four groups: small shops or workshops of one or two rooms and an average area of 10-45 square metres; houses or shops with 2-7 rooms and an area of 50-170 square metres; average-sized Pompeian houses with an area of 175-345 square metres; and larger houses with an area of anything between 350-3000 square metres.
He firstly attempts by means of a number of analogies, both ancient and modern, to arrive at an estimate of population density, taking as his assumption that large houses were just as likely to be crowded (if only by slaves and dependents) as small ones. However many factors could vary this figure and using it to estimate the total population of Pompeii at any one time is a risky business, precisely because there are so many imponderables, such as our ignorance of the extent of upper floor rooms, changes in house usage and the impact upon population of the earthquake of 62 AD, to name only a few.
Hadrill explores the rich potential of the houses of Pompeii and Herculaneum to offer new insights into Roman social life.
He is the Master of Sidney Sussex College (College of the University of Cambridge). He is also a professor of classics at the University of Reading from 1987. In 2004, in an interview on the Australian television programme 60 Minutes, Wallace-Hadrill aired his opinion about the neglect of the archaeological site of Pompeii. He was described as an angry archaeologist when he argued that the conservation issues that need to be acted upon urgently at Pompeii are being neglected and that the site is suffering from a “second death”. Regarding the deterioration of Pompeii, he contends, “Man is wreaking damage far greater than Vesuvius. The moment of Pompeiis destruction was also the moment of its preservation. The public needs to understand that unless constant efforts are taken to arrest the decay, the site will, within decades crumble to nothing.” The most important new work concerns the organic and other material currently being recovered from the so-called sewer under the Insula Orientalis II. It is the largest such deposit, to our knowledge, to be scientifically excavated, and promises fundamental insights into ancient Roman diet. Since 2001 he has directed the Herculaneum Conservation Project, a project of the Packard Humanities Institute which aims to protect and study this unique site.

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