Pompeii Excavations

By Simran

The Pompeii excavations of the intact ancient Roman city, which had been buried beneath layers of volcanic ash for more than sixteen centuries, caused a sensation among intellectuals.

It sparked renewed interest in the Roman world’s values and styles.

A visit to the Pompeii archaeological area should begin at the Porta Marina entrance, which faces the sea.

This gate, which appears to be a tower built into the old walls, had two passageways: one for pedestrians and the other for animals and modes of transportation. 

A terracotta statue of Minerva, the gate’s protector, stands in a niche in the wall.

Villa Suburbana, located near the gate, was an imperial-era structure with paintings in the third Pompeian style (20 B.C. to 45 A.D.).

The suburban thermals are just outside the gate. Silla built the Venus temple in Via Marina in 80 B.C. 

The Apollo temple is formed by a portico with 48 columns on the left, continuing in the same direction.

The temple’s origins date back to the Samnite period, and inside the sacred enclosure were statues of several pagan gods, including Apollo and Diana. 

A pre-Roman Basilica is located near the temple, and next to it is the civil Forum, which was the center of economic, social, and religious life in old Pompei.

Significant buildings were by the sides of the main square, such as Jupiter’s Temple and the Basilica. 

During the imperial period, other significant buildings were constructed, such as the Building of Eumachia, the Temple of Vespasian, and the Public Lares Shrine.

Sites of excavation

Eumachia, a Venus priestess, built the Eumachia Building with its two-story arcade and the shops that make up the cloth market. 

The Temple of Vespasian, built around Mount Vesuvius‘ eruption in 79 A.D., is unfinished.

However, in the center of the court, marble art depicts scenes of sacrifice.

The Shrine of the Public Lares is adorned with polychrome marble and served as a place of worship during the imperial period. 

The Macellum was built during the reign of Augustus.

Access to shops and “tabernae” is provided by an elegant entrance hall and a quadrangular porch with marble columns.

On the north side of the Forum, there is the Temple of Jupiter, which is dedicated to the Capitoline deities Jupiter, Juno, and Minerva. 

The Temple of Augustus was probably built by the politician Marco Tullio, and the thermae was built in 80 B.C.

After knowing the fascinating Pompeii excavations, select and book your Pompeii tickets and explore the ancient world ahead!

From the Poeta Tragico to the Villa Dei Misteri

It is essential to note that houses in Pompeii were domestic and sacred.

The typical Pompeian house in the IV century B.C. consisted of a massive structure enclosed on the outside and a group of rooms inside arranged around a central atrium. 

The typical Pompeian house in the III century tended to become more prominent, more patrician in style, and more lavish in decoration by adding a peristyle, a flower garden, and new and more spacious rooms.

The House of the Poeta Tragico, which houses the famous floor mosaic “Cave Canem,” is a typical elegant house of the imperial age.

Then there’s the House of Pansa, one of Pompeii’s most prominent, which belonged to the Nigidii merchant family. 

The House del Bracciale d’Oro has beautiful frescoes at the intersection of Via delle Terme and Via Consolare.

The House of Sallustio, a typical Samnite structure, is also located on Via Consolare. Inside, there are frescoes of Diana and Atteone. 

Another Samnite structure is the House of the Chirurgo, so named because archaeologists discovered old surgical instruments here, now housed in the Neapolitan Archaeological Museum.

Porta Ercolano, located at the end of Via Consolare, connected Pompeii to Herculaneum and Oplonti. 

There are important buildings to visit along Via Merurio, which starts with the Arch of Caligula, such as the House dell’ancora and the two Houses with large and small fountains.

There are also the houses of Adonis and Apollo and the Samnite house of Meleagro. 

The House of the Faun is located in the alley of Mercurio. It is named after the bronze statue of a dancing satyr in the atrium’s center. 

A magnificent mosaic depicting Alexander Magnus fighting Dario was discovered here and is now housed in the Naples National Gallery.

One of Pompeii’s most beautiful and luxurious houses is the House of the Vettii, which takes its name from its owners, Aulo Vettio Restituto and Aulo Vettio Conviva.

This family was from the wealthy merchant class. 

Frescoes depicting Priapo, the fertility deity, and the luxurious triclinium, with walls painted with a delicate frieze of Cupids engaged in various pursuits, are particularly noteworthy.

Vicolo dei Vetti concludes with one of the town’s most essential gates, Porta Vesuvius. 

There are houses in Via Vesuvius that belonged to illustrious and wealthy people, such as Gneo Poppeo Abito and Lucio Cecilio Giocondo. 

Opposite Giocondo’s house is the House of Orpheus, which has a fresco depicting Orpheus.

Two houses in Via Nola are worth mentioning. 

The first dates from the imperial period and belonged to Marco Lucrezio Frontone, while the second is known as the House of the Gladiators.

The Central and Stabiana thermal buildings are located on Via Stabia, which connects Pompeii to Stabiae and Sorrento. 

The first was constructed following the 62 B.C. earthquake, while the second dates from the IV century B.C.

The triangular Forum served as the hub of athletic activity, and the Samnite Palestra stood nearby.

We suggest booking a skip the line small group tour of Pompeii to enjoy your trip to the fullest!
You will be transported back when you start your tour with an knowledgeable tour guide, following in the footsteps of the ancient Romans who once made this city their home. 

The people of Pompeii enjoyed plays, performances, and games. 

The Large Theatre, built between 200 and 150 B.C., was used for music auditions and mime shows. 

The Amphitheatre, with a capacity of 12000, was where gladiators competed.

The Via dell’Abbondanza, one of the main roads that ran through the town from east to west, was lined with commercial activities, fruit shops, laundries, felting workshops, and taverns.

Near the end of Via dell’Abbondanza, you can find three magnificent villas: the House of Loreio Tiburtino, the House of Venus, and the Villa of Giulia Felice.

Along Vicolo Meridionale, parallel to Via dell’Abbondanza, is the house of Menandro, the famous Greek playwright, where archaeologists discovered 115 silver artifacts. 

Other important buildings in Via dei Sepolcri, near Porta Gaeta, include the Villa of Diomede, the largest swimming pool in Pompeii, and the famous Villa of the Mysteries, discovered in 1909. 

It was built in the II century B.C. and got its name from the paintings depicting Dionysiac mysteries.

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Featured Image: canmandawe on Unsplash

About the author

Simran is adventurous and loves exploring new places. She constantly looks for undiscovered gems in the most secluded of the places.