Sunday, 21 December 2014

Buon Natale e auguri per un felice anno nuovo a tutti


Seasons greetings to all our collaborators, photographers, emailers and users all over the world.

Next year we will be moving back to the northern hemisphere, either UK or Italy, so this will be our last dry, hot and sunny (39degC) Christmas in Australia. We are looking forward to next Christmas, spent in Italy, with warm rain.

We wish the best in 2015 for a successful year for everyone at Pompeii.

Jackie and Bob at pompeiiinpictures

 

 

 

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Book: Römisches Zaumzeug aus Pompeji, Herculaneum und Stabiae

Just out, this book about bridles:
SIMON, Christina, 2014. Römisches Zaumzeug aus Pompeji, Herculaneum und Stabiae. Metallzäume, Trensen und Kandaren. Oxford : Archaeopress. Archaeopress Roman Archaeology, 1. ISBN 9781784910341. £ 36.
Few regions possess so many and mainly complete Roman bridles as do the Vesuvian sites. Singular find conditions permit both comprehensive antiquarian-historian analyses of their production, functionality, and everyday use and new approaches to their typology and chronology. The 103 catalogued specimens belong to four types of bronze headstalls, namely metallic noseband, bitless metal bridle (« hackamore »), multipartite metallic bridle (« metallic halter »), and muzzle as well as two types of bits, namely snaffle bit with circular cheekpieces and curb bit. All of them occurred in more or less numerous variants of local or provincial origin. Special attention is paid to the reconstruction of application methods and combinations of types as well as the replica of a snaffle bit with circular cheekpieces. Bitless metal bridles followed Greek models, multipartite metallic bridles Celtiberian ones and, in combination with Thracian or Italian curb bits, formed typical military bridles. All Campanian finds came from civilian contexts such as luxury villae, villae rusticae, urban houses, and workshops. Thanks to find circumstances they can be attributed to draught animals, beasts of burden or mounts (horse, donkey, mule) which also showed up in stables and skeletal remains.
Editor's site here.

Thursday, 11 December 2014

News: Ministerial comments on the state of Pompeii

Two articles that cover statements made by the Ministro di beni culturali e turismo, Dario Franceschini, during yesterday's 'Question Time' in the Camera:

Pompei: question time sugli Scavi. Il ministro: «Il piano procede, lavoriamo anche per area circostante» 
A Pompei "si sta lavorando in tutti i modi e con tutte le risorse disponibili per restare nei termini fissati secondo l'action plan, che consentono di spendere le risorse entro la fine del 2015". Lo ha detto il ministro di beni culturali e turismo Dario Franceschini rispondendo oggi al Question Time a una interrogazione di Rocco Palese, deputato Fi-Pdl. Nella sua risposta Franceschini ha premesso che i 105 milioni della Ue "non chiudono definitivamente, come qualcheduno superficialmente può immaginare, il problema di Pompei".
Read the full article here.

Pompei: Franceschini fa i 'conti' sugli scavi

Finora sono stati spesi 4 milioni di euro di fondi europei per il Grande Progetto Pompei. Lo ha detto il ministro per i beni culturali e il Turismo, Dario Franceschini, nel corso del question time alla Camera. “A questo momento – ha spiegato- la spesa effettiva è di quattro milioni di euro che è superiore ai 2,3 milioni di euro previsti dall’Action Plan del 17 luglio. Ci sono stati bandi al lordo dei ribassi per 90,2 milioni di euro. Si sono conclusi progetti per un valore, sempre al lordo dei ribassi, per 52,4 milioni di euro. C’è una struttura guidata dal generale Nistri e dalla Soprintendenza Speciale che sta lavorando in tutti i modi, e con tutte le risorse disponibili, per restare nei termini fissati dall’Action Plan che consentono di spendere le risorse entro la fine del 2015″. Franceschini ha però ricordato che “questa è una parte del progetto Pompei. Gli interventi, conclusi anche nei termini, lasceranno comunque l’esigenza di un cantiere perennemente aperto. La sola manutenzione, in un’area di quel tipo, richiede interventi e fondi continui.
Read more here.

Book review: Ancient vandalism?

Review in the TLS by Emily Gower of Kristina Milnor's GRAFFITI AND THE LITERARY LANDSCAPE IN ROMAN POMPEII (336pp. Oxford University Press. £70 (US $125). 978 0 19 968461 8)

'When Pompeii was rediscovered in the eighteenth century, no one was particularly interested in the rash of graffiti scratched on its walls. Excavators at the time were too busy carting away bulky and aesthetically pleasing works of art as trophies for the Bourbon kings. It was not until the mid-nineteenth century, and the advent of “romantic” archaeology, that one open-minded director, Francesco Maria Avellino, had the foresight to start conserving these fragile, less prestigious relics, thousands of which still survive, either in situ or detached with their original plaster. Other early enthusiasts included Chateaubriand and Bishop Wordsworth, both of whom recognized the “primitive” appeal of the insignificant-looking scrawls and their power to safeguard the noisy, if sometimes indecorous, opinions of Pompeii’s dramatically silenced inhabitants: the trials of school (“If Cicero pains you, you’ll get a flogging”), the pangs of love (“Rufus loves Cornelia”), threats (“Beware of shitting here”), electioneering (“Cuspius for aedile”) and insults (“Narcissus is a giant cocksucker”).'
Read the full review here.

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Reconstructions of Villa dei Misteri and the Pisanella Villa

These reconstructions by Stanton Abbott Associates have been circulating on Twitter for a while, but I thought I'd post them in case anyone has missed them. They are pretty awesome.

The Pisanella Villa:
More images can be seen here. They were created for the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

The Villa of the Mysteries
More images can be seen here. The purpose of this reconstruction was to 'investigate the relationship of the Triclinium, the famous dining room at the villa of the Mysteries in Pompeii, Italy, to its setting within its gardens and its extensive views. The room itself is still relatively intact but is now shut off from exterior light in order to preserve the wonderful murals inside. The series of reconstructed views try to give some notion of its opening into the landscape and its dayight and evening.'

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Book: Mosaici antichi in Italia. Regione prima. Ercolano

Recently out:
GUIDOBALDI, Federico, GRANDI, Monica, PISAPIA, Maria Stella, BALZANETTI, Roberta et BIGLIATI, Annalisa, 2014. Mosaici antichi in Italia. Regione prima. Ercolano. Pisa - Roma : Fabrizio Serra Editore. ISBN 9788862275651.
Ad oggi, ancora non disponevamo di un repertorio analitico dei pavimenti e dei rivestimenti parietali (non pittorici) di Ercolano. I due volumi che qui si presentano (con ricco apparato grafico in bianco/nero e a colori) vogliono colmare questa lacuna: essi raccolgono i pavimenti in cementizio, in mosaico e in opus sectile e i rivestimenti parietali musivi e marmorei; propongono un inquadramento tipologico del materiale, finalizzato alla strutturazione di schemi cronologici applicabili, di riflesso, alle strutture di pertinenza. Questo lavoro offre quindi un panorama estremamente vario per tipologia e per qualità intrinseca dei singoli manufatti, utile non solo alla conoscenza dell’antica Ercolano ma a tutti gli studi sui rivestimenti pavimentali e parietali di età romana.
 
More info here
To my mind, sadly, the price remains definitely out of reach for most libraries: paperback/ electronic version: 680€; hardback: 780€.
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