Condition Assessment - Regio VII, Insula 9VII-9 M 280

The photomosaic image below shows the condition of Regio VII, Insula 9 at the time it was photographed in 2009.  The city block is 68.44 meters in length and was first excavated in 1814 and further explored in 1817 and 1836.  The south side of the Building of Eumachia occupies the entire city block.  There are two entrances:  one is a porter's lodge and other is the rear entrance to the building.  The main walls were constructed in opus incertum (stone rubble embedded in concrete), with opus testaceum (fired brick) on the east and west ends and opus vittatum simplex (rectangular tufa block) pilasters that formed large framed panels.  The structure was decorated with stucco architectural features and all of the surfaces were covered with plaster.

Click image below to enlarge

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This close-up photograph of the model of Pompeii on display in the National Archaeological Museum of Naples shows the exterior walls of Regio VII, Insula 9 covered with significant amounts of plaster decoration, dipinti and graffiti at the time it was made in 1879.  As can be seen in the photomosaic image, most of the plaster decoratIon has since perished.

[Permission to take and display the photograph of the original model that resides in the National Archaeological Museum of Naples has been granted by the Ministero per i Beni e le Attività  Culturali – Soprintendenza Speciale per i Beni Archeologici di Napoli e Pompei.  This image may NOT be copied or reproduced in any manner.]

vii-9 ca 2 dThe close-up of the 1818 engraving on the left, above, shows the west end of the Eumachia Building soon after its excavation in 1814.   As can be seen from a section of the photomosaic on the right, this section of the building has survived to the present. 

[From Pompeiana:  the topography, edifices, and ornaments of Pompeii by Sir William Gell.]

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The 1855 engraving on the far left shows the exterior walls the Eumachia Building covered with significant amounts of plaster decoration, dipinti and graffiti.  A section of the photomosaic, on the right, shows the current condition of the walls.

[From Pompeia décrite et dessinée by Ernest Breton]

vii-9 ca 4 dBy the early 21st century the plaster on the walls had deteriorated to the point that falling pieces were a hazard to pedestrians and the sidewalk was therefore cordoned off.  In addition, the two doorways at the east end of the building required structural support as can be seen in the photograph on the left, above.  The remaining wall plaster was conserved in 2008, and the structural repairs to the doorways completed in 2009.  The completed project is seen in the photo on the right.  Although the fabric of the building endures, most of the plaster has since perished and there is little evidence of the original dipinti and graffiti, even where the plaster remains.