The Federico II University and the Sun University – Seconda Università di Napoli- have sent 45 students, divided in two groups, to carry out new excavations in the ruins of Pompeii. Since the 18th of July the students are conducting research work on the two most important temples of Pompeii: the Temple of Apollo in the Forum and the Temple of Athena at the Triangular Forum.
This is a project that sees the two universities collaborate with Pompeii Superintendence for the study of cults in the Vesuvian cities. Until the end of August students in shorts and helmets are working in the trenches, digging in search of the oldest phases of the two places of worship, recovering fragments of pottery and painted architectural decorations.
The excavations, directed by Professor Carlo Rescigno of the Sun and Massimo Osanna and Carmela Capaldi for the Federico II, has already provided surprising results. Starting with the Temple of Apollo, the excavations have positively established that after the earthquake that struck Pompeii and the Vesuvius area in 62 AD, 15 years before the Plinian eruption, the sacred building had been promptly rebuilt and reopened.
"To do this – as the professor Rescigno explained - the columns were raised using different blocks, then they were covered by a thick layer of putty. The tests also highlighted the reuse of the columns damaged by the earthquake to realize the gutters". The excavations (in which the manager is Lia Trapani) continue to give back a lot of ceramics, such as attics craters, Ionian cups, bucchero (made in the Etruscan area), and some remains of painted architectural decorations about the various phases of the sanctuary of Apollo. The Superintendency plans to set up an info-point in the priest's bedroom and, in September, will be issued an announcement for more excavations and works.
In the triangular forum, however, the students of the university Federico II are working on the removal of the modern interventions: two wrought floors have already emerged concerning the earlier phases of the sanctuary of Athena. "We found an antefix with two sphinxes dating to late fourth or early third century BC - says the manager Gian Michele Gerogiannis – and some cups. In the project also operate the architects Fernando Giannella and Teresa De Mauro, committed to the ancient architectures. In the opinion of the Professor Rescigno based on the recent finds, the Temple of Apollo was linked to initiation of the children, while the Temple of Athena, associated with the cult of Heracles, marked the entrance of women and men in adulthood. “The two places were strongly bound to each other – as the archaeologist said- and the research will clarify many other aspects about them".
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Staff at Flashback Journey to Pompeii. Our goal is to bring you up-to-date information on events, continuing archeological excavations and more on Pompeii.