Topic ID #41870 - posted 12/5/2019 9:40 AM



The Archaeology of Death in Pompeii. Porta Sarno Necropolis.

This is a practical training program in the archaeology of death.
The Porta Sarno Necropolis in Pompeii presents an exceptional opportunity to investigate the  Roman society from a diferent perspective. The study of the necropolis; the organization of the monuments, tombs, roads, walls, burials and ustrina. It will give us a better understanding on how the funerary space was managed and how it evolved with respect to urbanism, legislation, religion, and the history of the city. 
The project is directed by Llorenç Alapont (UEV) and coordinated by the Parco Archeologico di Pompei. Arch Universidad Europea de Valencia and Parco Archeologico di Pompei.

This is a multidisciplinary project that incorporates diverse archaeological sciences to achieve its goals such as funerary archaeology and bio-archaeology, and diferent techniques such as topography, photogrammetry, and virtual reality, 

Interpreting and investigating the funerary remains:

1. The human skeletal remains and the treatment of the corpse.
2. The typology, location, and architecture of the funeral spaces and monuments.
3. The offerings, the symbolic objects, and the funerary rites performed by the living for the dead.
4. The memory of the deceased, epigraphy, painting, sculpture and the exterior image of the tomb.
5. Symbolism, religion, superstition, and rituals.
6. The reconstruction of what really happened after the death of the deceased until the moment they were definitively deposited in their grave and how they died and lived.

Seminars and workshops

-Field Archaeology: The documentation and field record.
-Documentation of various funerary contexts: The individual graves, plurals and reductions, secondary graves, and the graves of children.
-The Biological Context: Identification of the human skeleton, recognition of individual bones and teeth, characteristics, size, and shape of parts of human bones. Estimation of age, sex, height, cause of death, pathologies, etc.
-Archaeology of death and burial
-Introduction to Roman cremation: the process, the results, the uses of such studies in archaeology and forensic science, etc.
-Roman funerary archaeology
-Excavation and documentation cremation burials
-Osteological analysis and documentation of remains
-Identification of human bone fragments
-Identification of non-human bones.

The goals for 2020
The 2020 excavation season will focus on two specific areas. The first area is located in front of the walls of the façade of the funeral enclosures (Area J). This area was first brought to light during the preventive excavation campaign of the Porta Sarno Necropolis in 1998. The presence of Samnite levels and specifically one Samnite tomb with goods is mentioned. The project’s objective in this area is to complete the excavation and study the layers and structures  partially excavated in order to confirm the Samnite levels of use on the site and to conduct a further investigation that seeks to verify the presence of other Samnite tombs belonging to an anterior burial necropolis.
The second and third areas are located north (Area B) and south  (Area D) of the enclosure with funerary podium monument. The last year we completed the excavation and study of the  partially excavated layers and structures,  confirming the presence of cremations and  locating and excavating them inside the funerary enclosure. By excavating them in this way, we  will document the organization of the funerary enclosure and verify the stratigraphic sequence in order to prove the existence of multiple levels of use and occupation in the necropolis.


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