Condition Assessment - Regio IX, Insula 7IX-7 M 280

The photomosaic image below shows the condition of Regio IX, Insula 7 at the time it was photographed in 2006.  The city block is 55.65 meters in length.  The far western end of the block (on left) was uncovered in 1881, but most of the facade was excavated in 1911-1912.  There are thirteen entrances: five houses, three shops, four workshops and one food and drink establishment.  The east end contained a concentration of wool production and garment enterprises.  The ground floor exterior walls were constructed primarily in opus quadratum (large ashlar blocks) while the upper stories and some ground floor walls were built in opus incertum (stone rubble embedded in concrete).  There is evidence of opus craticium (timber framework) above several of the entrances.  A number of high quality wall paintings decorated the facade on the east end of the block.

Click image below to enlarge

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This elevation drawing of the buildings was created by G. Luciano for Vittorio Spinazzola and shows the condition of Regio IX, Insula 7 after it was excavated in 1911-1912.  It shows only the ten easternmost entrances, omitting those that had been excavated in the 1880's (the first two on the left).  Possibly Spinazzola believed that doorway 11 was a street at the time.  The shaded areas of the drawing represent the portions actually excavated and/or restored, and the single lines are hypothetical additions.  

[From Pompei alla luce degli scavi nuovi di Via dell'Abbondanza (anni 1910-1923) by Vittorio Spinazzola.  Permission to display this image has been granted as a courtesy by the publisher,  Istituto Poligrafico e Zecca dello Stato, Rome.   This image may NOT be copied or reproduced in any manner without the permission of the publisher.

ix-7 ca 1 dUnder the supervision of Vittorio Spinazzola, restoration techniques were developed to carefully consolidate and reconstruct the upper stories and facades of the buildings as they were excavated, starting at the top and continuing downward.  This methodology is demonstrated in the two photographs above.  The 1911 image on the left shows the excavations of the second story of the east end of Regio IX, Insula 7.  The steel beams shown in this photo formed the structural supports of the restored balcony that can be seen in the photograph on the right (to the right of the restored roof).


ix-7 ca 3 dThe photograph on the left, above, shows the wall paintings surrounding Regio IX, Insula 7, Doorway 1 soon after its excavation in 1911.   This unusual color image shows decoration that is vivid and detailed.  Although these wall paintings were conserved by specialists in 2005 they have lost much of their original color and the wall plaster has been damaged, as can be seen from a section of the photomosaic, on the right.

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The photograph above, on the left, shows the middle section of Regio IX, Insula 7 (between B and A on the photomosaic) in 1917.  The roof structures seem to have awnings which may have protected the wall paintings from sun damage.  The photograph on the right shows the same section of the city block when the wall paintings were conserved and repaired in 2005.


ix-7 ca 4 dThe 1912 photograph on the left, above, shows the wall paintings surrounding Regio IX, Insula 7, Doorway 7 soon after its excavation.   The image shows the decoration on both sides of the entrance.  Although these wall paintings were conserved by specialists in 2005 they have lost much of their original detail, as can be seen from a section of the photomosaic, on the right.  The plaster to the left of the entrance has completely disappeared.


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The watercolor on the left and the charcoal drawing on the right were created by Alberto Sanarica for Vittorio Spinazzola, and are each sections of larger works. The watercolor shows a hypothetical reconstruction the east end of Regio IX, Insula 7, including the wall paintings shown in the photographs above.  The charcoal drawing is also a hypothetical reconstruction of Insula IX, 7.  Although the artwork was based upon evidence encountered during the excavations, much of the information is conjecture.

[Permission to display the four black and white photographs above has been granted by the Ministero per i Beni e le Attività  Culturali – Soprintendenza Speciale per i Beni Archeologici di Napoli e Pompei.  These images may NOT be copied or reproduced in any manner.]

[The color photograph of Regio IX, Insula 7, Doorway 1 and the images of the watercolor and charcoal drawing above are from Pompei alla luce degli scavi nuovi di Via dell'Abbondanza (anni 1910-1923) by Vittorio Spinazzola.  Permission to display these images has been granted as a courtesy by the publisher, Istituto Poligrafico e Zecca dello Stato, Rome.  These images may NOT be copied or reproduced in any manner without the permission of the publisher.]

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