New discoveries have been made during archaeological excavations at Civita Giuliana, a villa complex in Pompeii, one of the most important cities of ancient Rome.
Pompeii was a Roman city located in the modern commune of Pompeii, near Naples, in the Italian region of Campania. Pompeii, along with Herculaneum and many surrounding villas, were buried under 4 to 6 meters of volcanic ash and pumice after the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD.
The explosion spewed a deadly cloud of superheated tephra and gas up to 33 km high, ejecting molten rock, pulverized pumice, and hot ash at 1.5 million tons per second, ultimately releasing 100,000 times the thermal energy of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombs.
Civita Giuliana is located in the northwest of Pompeii, in an oil and wine producing farming suburb. The villa was first discovered in the early 20th century by a team led by the Marquis Giovanni Imperiali, which unearthed numerous residential rooms and parts of the complex used for food processing. In 2021, archaeologists unearthed the remains of a preserved Roman chariot and a room in a house used by slaves that served the villa’s inhabitants. Archaeologists have uncovered a collection of pottery and other ceramics placed upside down along the walls of a servant’s room. It was a snapshot of everyday life frozen in time after the eruption of Vesuvius.
The pottery and ceramics that serve as data for the stratigraphic study of the villa complex are assumed to have been left in place during the final phase of the eruption.
Culture Minister Gennaro Sangiuliano said, “These finds demonstrate the determination and ability of the State to stop the scourge of illegal excavations and the trade of archaeological goods, and constitute an important response to the destruction wrought over the years by tomb robbers. Pompeii is the pride of Italy and to further defend a unique heritage worldwide, and it is our intention to encourage it.”