Are there significant traces of Etruscan families, along with the Greeks and the population of the river Sarno, among the people who founded ancient Pompeii?
The question was made by Professor Massimo Osanna (the superintendent of the ruins of Pompeii) during a meeting which took place in mid-November in the auditorium of the excavations.
The observations of the famous archaeologist are based on insights concerning the meaning of the findings that emerged from the last century excavations (partially resumed in the current management) at some urban and suburban shrines of Pompeii. The attendance of some Etruscan families in the territory were derived from scientific investigations into the remains of a temple found in the “fondo Iozzino” (in the historic center of modern Pompeii).
This excavation was started in the '60s and was resumed in the ‘90s and gives us back a lot of votive material made in bucchero with some important inscriptions. The information given by these inscriptions confirm a significant Etruscan presence among the community of various origins who founded Pompei.
In addition, the frequent recourse, in the dedications engraved on the findings, of the word "APA" (which in Etruscan means "father") leads to the belief that the sanctuary was dedicated to the god Jupiter Meilichios, since on the inscription in Osco of a tombstone located in Porta di Stabia, is precisely quoted the sanctuary of Jupiter Melichios. It was a cult born in Magna Grecia. Also it emerges from other studies that the temple located in the “Fondo Iozzino” stands on the direct road connecting Pompeii to the temple of Zeus Meilichios.
Another interesting sacral space, investigated with the help of researchers from the Universities of Naples, covers the area inside the archaeological site of Pompeii, the Triangular Forum where there is the Doric temple dedicated to Athena and Heracles.
In that area they are still continuing the excavations in order to understand some newe aspects of that mysterious sanctuary. The presence of a "tripartite" altar – in the opinion of Osanna - would be due to the practice of the cult of "nymphs" linked to Athena. This aspect made the temple a religious center of the brides’ protection (from the protection of the virginity to the mating ritual, up to the social function of the motherhood represented by nymphs). In this context, it explains the presence of a well and of a series of underground tanks (recently explored). Also significant was the discovery of the metope representing the "Ixion Judgement", dedicated to the myth that defends the purity of ritual of virginity.
So, Pompeii is always fascinating thanks to all of these new discoveries made through the Great Pompeii Project.
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The first edition of the festival of ancient drama, called Pompeii Theatrum Mundi, will take place from June 22 to July 16 2017 at the Large Theatre in Pompeii.
Imagined for the Grand Theatre of the most impressive archaeological site in the world, the three-year project Pompeii Theatrum Mundi is a cooperation between the Teatro Stabile of Naples and the Superintendence of Pompeii, in the broader promotion of the site and after the reopening to the public of the Large Theater.
According to variegated program titles and dramas, from mid-June to mid-July on the stage of the Pompeian theater (built in the second century BC) ancient dramas will be played in the fascinating atmosphere of the excavations. For the president of the Teatro Stabile of Naples Valter Ferrara: "the new exhibition proposal in Pompeii next summer consolidates the proactive role of the Teatro Stabile and the central role of the theater in the cultural and educational processes of the entire territory."
"From 2014", the Superintendent Massimo Osanna said, "scenes of the Large Theatre were returned to the international audience, where the new exhibition of the Teatro Stabile of Naples fits naturally. As it celebrates and revives the public of the uniqueness and sacredness of these places, Pompeii once again looms as an art and culture laboratory, the world's stage open to tradition and innovation. "
"The Teatro Stabile", said the director Luca De Fusco, "proposes an ancient drama project, as important as natural selection. Texts by Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides will be presented at the very place where, probably, they were put in scenes in Roman times. In this place we will bring the dramatic theater again with a show that we have the honor to announce with its dates and times with large, unusual advance."
The program will open June 22 with the Oresteia (Agamemnon and The Libation Bearers / Eumenides) by Aeschylus staged by Luca De Fusco on production of Teatro Stabile of Naples. It's a unique trilogy of classical Greek junta that integrates the past. From the 22nd to the 25th of June the Oresteia will go on stage in alternate days in the two sections: Agamemnon and The Libation Bearers / Eumenides.
From the 30th of June to the 2nd of July, the debut of the first national Prometheus of Aeschylus, directed by Massimo Luconi, who will star in the role of the great and mysterious mythological character the actor Luca Lazzareschi (a production of the Teatro Stabile of Naples).
From July the 5th to the 6th, the event continues with Antigone. An African story, from Sophocles' tragedy, written by Jean Anouilh, directed by Massimo Luconi. Played in French, the setting - produced by Third Theater Plan - comes from Senegal and shows the great fable Sophocles on justice in the African reality.
The fourth and final round of the cycle, the debut of the first national Bacchae of Euripides staged by director Andrea De Rosa, at the Teatro Grande in Pompeii from July the 14th to the 16th. The production of the show is by the Teatro Stabile of Naples and Teatro Stabile of Turin.
All information on tickets, reservations, promotions, groups, transport available on www.teatrostabilenapoli.it
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Christmas is coming and Pompeii is already preparing to welcome its visitors. New openings have been made in November, whilst others will be announced during the Christmas.
Finally completed is the restoration of the building and decorative elements, both walls and floors, which covers the northwestern sector of Regio VIII. The restoration covered the House of Geometric Mosaics and the three municipal buildings that overlook the Forum. In this way it enhances the visit to the excavations of Pompeii thanks to the Great Pompeii Project.
It is worth seeing the sophistication and the quality of the geometric mosaics of the great Domus, built to take advantage of the stunning view from the hill of Pompeii. From this position you could enjoy the Stabian Gulf with Capri and the Sorrento Coast in front of you. Also reopened is the passage of the Forum between the Basilica and the Comitium. It will be part of the path for the disabled that will be inaugurated on December 2nd by the Minister Dario Franceschini.
The reopening of all these buildings was also an opportunity to carry out stratigraphic investigations searching the traces of the Etruscan and the Samnite period of Pompeii. The archeologists found traces of walls relating to three areas of the sixth century BC (workshops), then abandoned in the fourth century BC when they were closed and the area was allocated to other activities. Workshops were later replaced by public buildings during the resettlement of the Forum.
Moreover there is another great gift for all tourists that visit Pompeii during Christmas. The Superintendent Massimo Osanna has in fact ordered the opening of the Suburban Baths, usually closed to the public, from 9:20 am to 4:40 pm.
The complex is located in Porta Marina but is the result of some construction projects that were begun from the first decade of the first century BC and they have never been finished. Unlike the other baths of Pompeii, the Suburban Baths were private. But what is the feature that characterizes these environments? Inside these baths you can admire a series of erotic scenes painted in the apodyterium, the dressing room, that advertised what you could find on the upper floor, which was the practice of illegal prostitution, as often happened right in the spa. Other areas are also richly decorated. In the small cold pool it was a fake cave adorned with mosaics depicting cupids who deliver weapons to the god Mars. The walls were richly frescoed with paintings of maritime themes.
The area of heated rooms included this sequence: tepidarium, laconium and caldarium, the latter with large windows open to the sea. At this sector, later, a large swimming pool heated by a large brazier in bronze located on the back of the room was added.
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Three years ago, walls were collapsing and Pompeii was a scandal in the world. Three years late many things have changed: in the ancient city 22 new houses were inaugurated and opened to public. Moreover, at the end of October it has been reached the milestone of 3 million visitors a year to date.
These are only two numbers, but they give a sign of change due to the availability of funds (105 million of the Great Pompeii Project) and to an organization that involves the local authorities, supported by the Ministry of Culture. The "Great Pompeii Project Unity", now directed by Luigi Curatoli, operates in parallel with the Superintendence of Pompeii.
In the first two years of the new course they have been put to tender 76 interventions. Of these these, 42 were concluded with a total expenditure of 40.7 million of euros. In 2016, they transferred unspent funds from the Poin "cultural attractors" to the new "Pon Culture" of the 2014-2020 programming period. 14 restorations were concluded, 15 new yards have been started with an expenditure to date of more than 20 million of euros. "By the end of 2018, or at least early 2019, the entire project will be completed” says Curatoli.
Meanwhile, the climate has changed in Pompeii: the site has become a venue for cultural events, ranging from large summer concerts to the exhibition of the casts, the exhibition of historical photos, the great statues of the Polish sculptor - but Italian by adoption - Igor Mitoraj. And only a few days ago, the Superintendent has started a mutual cooperation agreement with the Hermitage Museum of Saint Petersburg, in Russia.
However, Pompeii is only half-way to go. From the beginning, the Great Project has planned redevelopment and urban regeneration of the area outside the city walls, which includes nine towns near the Mount Vesuvius: this is an economically and socially depressed area that could benefit from the opportunity of growth offered by tourism development. "Of the three million visitors to Pompeii only 3% hold more than a visit to the excavations. We must work to organize an incoming tourism in order to extend the stay for at least two or three days - says Ambrogio Prezioso, president of the Industrial entrepreneurs of Naples – We also need a masterplan to persuade national and international investors. "
The unit led by Curatoli is preparing a strategic plan that could be completed in three months and then submitted to the Management Committee chaired by the Minister of Heritage and cultural activities and tourism Dario Franceschini. The Industrial entrepreneurs of Naples, through the association “Naplest et Pompeii”, is providing its support in the preparation of the Strategic Plan, in the promotion and selection of private initiatives and attraction of domestic and foreign investors.
The second chapter of the Great Project is yet to be written, starting from the outer perimeter of the excavations, still in serious neglect, and the relaunch of the other Vesuvian archaeological sites of Stabiae, Oplontis and Boscoreale, so far not even touched by the new course.
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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.