Giuseppe Fiorelli

179 fiorellir d Giuseppe Fiorelli (1823-1896) brought new innovations and scientific methodologies to archaeology.  Born in Naples, he first served in Pompeii starting in 1846.  He was accused of having nationalist political views, thrown into prison in 1849 and subsequently acquitted of the charges.  During his ten-month incarceration he compiled and transcribed the handwritten official Pompeii excavation reports that had been recorded between 1748 and 1860 into a three-volume printed publication, Pompeianarum Antiquitatum Historia. Under a new unified Italian government, he was appointed Director of Archeological Works in Pompeii in 1860, and concurrently, of the Naples National Archaeological Museum in 1863.  Fiorelli established an archaeological training school and pioneered stratigraphic excavation techniques.  He also developed the methodology of making plaster casts of the cavities created by the decomposition of ancient corpses and organic artifacts, and he introduced the system of numerically organizing Pompeii properties by region and city block.  Fiorelli was appointed Director General of Italian Antiquities and Fine Arts in Rome in 1875 where he served until his death in 1896. (Soprintendenza Archeologica di Pompei and Dobbins and Foss and Dobbins, The World of Pompeii, 2007, Chapter 39)

1856 - Map of Pompeii


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