Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Raw clay pots from Pompeii workshop found

Archaeologists say they have found the remains of dozens of pieces of pottery in their raw clay form in what was once a ceramics workshop near ancient Pompeii's Herculaneum gate. 

Raw clay pots from Pompeii workshop found

The vessels, sealed under ash from the fiery eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD, have been catalogued for study by scholars interested in the daily life of Pompeii, including numerous artisanal workshops. 

The office of Italy's superintendent of archaeology is working on the project in collaboration with scholars at the Centre Jean Bérard and École Française de Rome. 

The find has been called "surprising" and provides more insights into daily life in the city of Pompeii just before disaster struck, preserving the entire ancient city in ash. 

The clay vessels, which were to be used as drink or food containers, are the result of work just outside the ancient city walls near the Herculaneum gate where it is believed workshops and even cemeteries were located. 

The furnace was discovered in 1838 and the space nearby is believed to be a working room for creating pottery and described as important to the understanding of ceramic techniques of the period. 

In a separate workshop, two furnaces were found and are also thought to have been used for producing fine ceramics with thin surfaces. 

Read more at: The Archaeology News Network

See  The workshop on pompeiiinpictures

Friday, 24 October 2014

Save the Swedish Institutes in the Mediterranean

Worrying news from Sweden: the Institutes around Mediterranean are in danger.

Swedish Institute at Athens announces:
"The Swedish government has proposed that the budget for the Mediterranean institutes (Athens, Istanbul, Rome) should be cut with more than half in 2016 and with 100% in 2017. This means that there will be no institutes. A petition could be signed at"

Here is the petition text in English:
Dear government,

The signers of this petition strongly disagree with the suggestion in this year’s budget bill to cut funding for the Swedish Institutes in the Mediterranean, and in the coming year completely abandon the financial support. This decision reflects a lack of investigation on the government’s part, and this decision can have devastating effects.

The Institutes provides an invaluable contribution to research, education and cultural exchange, all happening on a minute budget. They promote cross-disciplinary cooperation, mobility, internationalization, and the application of funds and excellence. The Institutes also contribute to the overall quality of many university disciplines in Sweden. They, moreover, function as a place for intercultural meetings, national centers and fora for courses, conferences, seminars and provide excellent resources for both small and large educational establishments. The institutes have a strong brand and are internationally known and respected research centres. To cut their funding would be a grave mistake.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Museum of Ancient Paintings, Portici

We stumbled across this painting and thought we would share it with you all.

The Portici museum must have been a sight to see, if all those paintings were on display as shown.

That is assuming you could get a "permesso" to enter.

The painting is titled:
Museum of Ancient Paintings, Palais of Portici Naples. 
It is a painting by Thomas Rowlandson c 1800.
The Victoria and Albert Museum describe it as:
A satirical watercolour showing a woman with three young men looking at wall frescoes.
Two older men stand behind the group.
Rowlandson shows a woman admiring a display of risqué Roman fresco paintings while the men surrounding her all look lecherously at her. 
The crux of the satire is whether their visit is a cultural or erotic pastime.

Photo © Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Museum inventory number DYCE.799.

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Albrecht Matthaei in Hamburg, Germany

Another event at the Bucerius Kunst Forum — in conjunction with their current show on Pompeii (featuring the House of the Citharist) which opens today!

Pompeji eine Zukunft geben

8. Dezember 2014 20:00 - 22:00 Uhr
Dr. Albrecht Matthaei, Koordinator des "Pompeii Sustainable Preservation Project" im Gespräch mit Dr. Andreas Hoffmann, Geschäftsführer des Bucerius Kunst Forums und Kurator der Ausstellung

Pompeji eine Zukunft zu geben – das ist das Ziel des internationalen Pompeii Sustainable Preservation Project. Die Soprintendenza Speciale per i Beni Archeologici di Pompei, Ercolano e Stabia und internationale Forschungsinstitutionen, darunter das Fraunhofer Institut für Bauphysik in Stuttgart, die Technische Universität München, die Pompeji-Denkmalschutzbehörde und das Internationale Forschungszentrum für Denkmalpflege und Restaurierung der UNESCO, haben sich zusammengeschlossen, um die Erhaltung und Restaurierung der archäologischen Denkmale in Pompeji zu sichern. Das Projekt hat seine Arbeit 2014 in der Nekropole vor der Porta Nocera begonnen. Nirgendwo sonst sind antike Friedhöfe besser bekannt als in Pompeji. Mit seinen sechzig aufwändigen Grabbauten, die seit den 1950er Jahren erschlossen wurden, ist der Grabbezirk vor der Porta Nocera der größte Pompejis. Hier soll außerhalb der Stadtmauern ein Freilichtmuseum entstehen, das auch als Unterrichtsort für Archäologen genutzt werden kann. Der Weg dahin ist lang – und teuer. Im Gespräch mit Andreas Hoffmann berichtet Albrecht Matthaei von den Chancen und Schwierigkeiten des internationalen Restaurierungs- und Konservierungsprojektes und von den Problemen der Finanzierung.

€ 10,– / € 8,–

Massimo Osanna in Hamburg, Germany

Prof. Dr. Massimo Osanna, Soprintendente von Pompeji, spricht beim Bucerius Kunst Forum in Hamburg:

Weltkulturerbe in Gefahr. Neue Strategien zur Rettung Pompejis

17. November 2014 20:00 - 22:00 Uhr

Meldungen über einstürzende Bauten in den Hauptstraßen Pompejis wie die Gladiatorenschule oder der Diebstahl der Darstellung einer Artemis aus dem Stadtpalast der Casa di Nettuno dominieren in den internationalen Feuilletons die aktuelle Berichterstattung über Pompeji. 

Seit März 2014 ist Prof. Dr. Massimo Osanna als oberster Denkmalpfleger und neuer Leiter der Soprintendenza Speciale per i Beni Archeologici di Pompei, Ercolano e Stabia für die Konservierung und Erforschung der weltweit einzigartigen archäologischen Hinterlassenschaften in den Vesuvstädten verantwortlich. In seinem Vortrag berichtet er zum ersten Mal seit der Übernahme des Amtes in Deutschland von den Problemen der Konservierung, den anstehenden Aufgaben und von seinen Perspektiven für das Weltkulturerbe Pompejis, der größten erhaltenen Stadtruine der Antike. Wie begegnet die archäologische Denkmalpflege den aktuellen Problemen? Welche Restaurierungsprojekte stehen im Mittelpunkt der Arbeit der Archäologen der kommenden Jahre? Welche Forschungsprojekte sind geplant? Wie werden die zahlreichen internationalen Initiativen zur Erforschung der Vesuvstädte koordiniert? 

Bevor Massimo Osanna die Leitung der Archäologischen Denkmalpflege in der Vesuvregion übernommen hat, war er Professor für Klassische Archäologie an der Università degli Studi della Basilicata und Direktor der Scuola di Specializzazione in Beni Archeologici in Matera in der Basilicata. Osanna hat sich maßgeblich um die archäologische Erforschung Unteritaliens verdient gemacht und für seine Arbeiten zahlreiche Auszeichnungen erhalten. Von 2007 bis 2008 hat er das Amt des Soprintendente per i Beni Archeologici della Basilicata bekleidet. Osanna war Gastprofessor an der Universität in Heidelberg, an der Ecole normale in Paris und Humboldt-Stipendiat an der Freien Universität Berlin.

Vortrag in deutscher Sprache mit anschließender Möglichkeit zur Diskussion.

€ 10,– / € 8,–

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Augustus's rooms open for first time in Rome

Lavishly frescoed rooms in the houses of the Roman Emperor Augustus and his wife Livia are opening for the first time to the public Thursday, after years of painstaking restoration.

The houses on Rome's Palatine hill where the emperor lived with his family are re-opening after a 2.5 million euro ($3.22 million) restoration to mark the 2,000 anniversary of Augustus's death -- with previously off-limit chambers on show for the first time.
From garlands of flowers on Pompeian red backgrounds to majestic temples and scenes of rural bliss, the rooms are adorned with vividly coloured frescoes, many in an exceptional condition.
Restorers said their task had been a complex one, with bad weather during excavation threatening the prized relics of a golden era in the Eternal City.
"We had to tackle a host of problems which were all connected, from underground grottos to sewers -- and I'm talking about a sewer system stretching over 35 hectares (86 acres)," said Mariarosaria Barbera, Rome's archaeological superintendent.
To protect the site, tourists will have to book to join one of three daily groups of up to 20 people who will be taken around by a guide for a 15-minute visit.
Cinzia Conti, head restorer, said the plan was to allow people to enjoy "a more intimate, more attentive exploration of Augustus's spaces."

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