Field work 2006

The field season was carried out in May together with students and teachers from the EVTEK University of Applied Sciences. The 2006 activities included also two months of finds processing in April and September. Visitors included James Andrews who started his work on the upper floors of the insula. The mortars were sampled for C-14 dating by a group lead by Åsa Ringbom from the Åbo Akademi.

As the buildings archaeological work and excavation in the House of Marcus Lucretius were finished in 2005, all the archaeological field work too place in the narrow alley north of the city block and inside houses IX 3,25 and IX 3,1-2. Three trenches were excavated: two in the alley and one in house IX 3,25. Documentation of wall paintings continued in the House of Marcus Lucretius.

Work in house IX 3,25 was started in 2005 by working on the rooms in the facade. It is a small dwelling with a row house ground plan: entrance in the middle of the front range with two rooms on its both sides followed by an atrium and a large space at the back of the house. The facade is built of opus africanum which is also found in some of the interior walls. Floors and partition walls in the front range were found, but it still remains uncertain whether there was a doorway from the entrance (room 134) to the small room west of it (room 135). Some of the wall paintings in the socle of room 137 east of the entrance were still visible.

The atrium (room 136) featured at least two floor levels as well as a razed wall in the southwestern part which gave reason to excavate trench DC. It was discovered that the current partition between the atrium and the back area (room 138) was a late addition and that there had been a small room in the western part followed by a much narrower back part before the House of Marcus Lucretius. A cistern with a downpipe for rainwater from the roof was found in the southeastern part of the atrium. The back area (room 138) might have been partially roofless as suggested by lack of plaster floors. Its eastern part was probably roofed and contained maybe a small portico with a latrine in the southeastern corner.

The trenches in the northern alley, DA and DB, were located by the facade of house IX 3,24 and close to the northwestern corner of the city block, outside house IX 3,1-2. In the first trench a significant find was made as the foundation trench for the opus quadratum wall was found. The pottery dates the building to the 3rd-2nd century BC which fits with the finds from the 2005 trenches inside the house. A waste pit from the last phase of Pompeii was found dug into the street and continuing partly under the walls of the Central Bath (IX 4). Street layers were found in both trenches and it seems that the alley was never properly paved with basalt blocks. The western trench contained a sequence of waste pits dug part into each other as well as a probable cess pit for an upper floor toilet in the adjacent house IX 3,1-2. The volcanic layers were dug in order to see whether prehistoric finds could be observed, but none were found.

Work in house IX 3,1-2 was begun at this point by buildings archaeological work, but for a description of the finds, see Field work 2009.