Ch.7 : The Excavations in Pompei
The discovery of Pompeii dates from the sixteenth century. It is due to sanitation works that were executed at that time in the Sarno Valley. By digging a diversion channel for the waters of the stream and by drilling a gallery in the hill of the "Civita", the architect Fontana discovered a large number of inscriptions and several buildings, whose walls were decorated with paintings.
However, the first real exploration took place in 1748 during the reign of Charles of Bourbon. We had already, at that time, undertook the Herculaneum excavations fought us, a few years later (1750-1753), the admirable bronzes and papyri of the suburban villa, known as the Villa of the Pisos.
As we know, the Herculaneum excavations were facing immense difficulties, while at Pompeii were the work of désensevelissement with great ease. This is why the excavations of Pompeii quickly took a steady pace and continues almost without interruption periods. They therefore became the grandest enterprise that one could lead to archaeological research. The work was conducted with speed, especially during the first half of the nineteenth century. Between the years 1806 and 1832 is restored to the light of day most public buildings and some of the main buildings, which belonged to individuals.
This is however only the year 1860 date under the direction of Giuseppe Fiorelli the early excavations, methodical, rational, executed block by block, seamless and smooth: method of research that was perfected to As, proceeding at the same time for protection and restoration work. As a result, the excavations of Pompeii became progressively, technically, as a model excavation method, carrying out the works, conservation and restoration. We are indebted to them for this wonderful ensemble formed by the "Casa dei Vettii, those of the" Nozze d'Argento, the "Amorini dorati to" Lucrezio Frontone together that have completed the last ten years, new excavations of the "Via dell'Abbondanza, exploration of" Villa dei Misteri, the "House of Menander, and restoration of the Tribunal, the Basilica.
In the excavations, such that the current practice, we try to get the integral vision of buildings that one emerges. All elements of the superstructure are carefully collected and replaced. Any wall decoration and pavement mosaics are left in situ and intelligently protected against any risk of deterioration. Similarly, all that could decorate the house, works of art, pieces of furniture or household utensils, in short all objects closely linked to the housing character are as far as possible, resettled to places same that were once intended for them. Every house, every shop, every workshop, and offer us a complete picture of the life that flowed there. The visitor, so slightly familiar with the external aspects of buildings, no stretch of the imagination can evoke at every step, life and atmosphere of the ancient city.
At the present time, we désenseveli almost three-fifths of the city. But given the new methods of excavation front leading the excavation, careful and cautious, and careful restoration down to the smallest details, it is probable that we will use more time to explore the other two fifths that is set in the first three.