Ch.35: TerzignoThe Roman Villas
The site, on the outskirts of the modern town of Terzigno, located north of Pompeii, on the southeast slopes of Vesuvius was formerly known as Mala or Maura Silva. The name of Terzigno arrive much later. This land included in the suburban side of Pompeii, suffered the events of the neighboring region and neighboring Castrum Octavius. Recent excavations in the municipality showed that the site had existed since the most ancient times, here indeed found their places of rustic villas and especially of land for the production of wine, including wine "Terzigno", known since time immemorial. Following the discovery of the old cellar of the city, the excavations divided into 6 sites, have revealed three types of villas called Roman Villa 1, Villa 2 and Villa 6 great value.
Villa 1 has been partially excavated since 1981 and is located in a large still active career. Characterized by a large wine cellar that contained no less than 42 dolia (large amphorae buried) this cellar has a threshing floor, a porch and a room used to store fodder. North of this one a portico with tufa columns and bricks partially embedded in a wall built in successive time. To the east a room for the storage of animal feed which opens on a large farm. Judging by the number of found architectural terracotta, the villa must have been a wealthy residential area, fortunately saved and still excavation.
The presence in the region of a gantry of a stone mill, a filler crushed bricks, likely to be used in the preparation of floor or wall coverings; these presences materials attest that at the time of the restoration of the first eruption, work was conducted on the house, perhaps to repair the damage caused by the earthquake of 62 AD, or rather by the activity earthquake preceding the eruption. The residential sector has not yet been excavated.
Villa 2 is located in the same career and presents a vinaire cell, the ambient pressure to grapes and a large kitchen. The excavations have restored the skeletons of five individuals who carried with them, bracelets, gold objects, the silver dishes and a hoard of coins. Exploration of rustic spaces of this villa 2 showed rooms for wine production arranged around a courtyard bordered on both sides of a brick pillar portico and columns. Water was supplied by two large cisterns in the courtyard. Among the rooms on the north of this large atrium, a large kitchen, directly accessible from the hallway and a room overlooking the porch. Here the skeletons of five people who tried to escape were found with the goods they were trying to save.
Gold necklaces in the arms of three victims, adorned with emeralds, bracelets two solid gold snake shape probably handheld of one of the victims, their next floor a small bag, a mirror and amphorette a little money, while a pair of skyphoi and situlae, all in silver, were dropped in the portico during the flight. The south wing of the building is occupied by a machine press and the wine cellar consists of 24 dolia buried. Both bedrooms have a higher level, a small staircase led upstairs.
Villa 6 is also located in the same career, in addition to the rustic environment of the press with a large pool (lacus) for the collection of residential, with important decorations in 2 style. This Villa is the largest of Terzigno complex. Exceptional decorations belonging to building phases dated to the middle of the 1st century BC, when elegant residential districts were added to the rustic villa. Following the earthquake of 62 AD, the villa was abandoned and used by gents What worked transformed and used exclusively for the production of wine. This production was still active in 79 AD judging by the discovery outside the entrance of the skeletons of the production area of a group of slaves, killed by the collapse of the rubble, while tried to escape.
And the entrance to the production area, a small kitchen set, the Court preceded by a pillared portico, the torculanum and wine cellar, which showed signs of other alterations at the time of the eruption that been discovered.
Excavation of the residential area is ongoing. To date the porch and a number of rooms at its Northwest were studied. These areas have produced floors and complex paintings in the 2nd style, including exceptional parietal decorations, interpretation difficult in the reception room.
In the last period of life of this villa, this sector of the villa, abandoned and degraded, was occupied by workers involved in the production of wine. Graffiti etched on the walls and some equipment were there to meet the new requirements, equipment that attest the change of its original use.
Excavations in Terzigno, always active, even if blocked at present by lack of funds, remain closely linked to the excavations of Pompeii and cities and neighboring cities, all ensable to enrich more and more historical information on the Roman period Naples and Campania.