Dr Sophie Hay Profile picture
Mar 20, 2018 59 tweets 63 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
Had the great honour of talking to @pompeii_sites Director General, @MassimoOsanna, at the site of his new excavations: the first in 20 years to entirely dig through the 4 metres of ash and pumice stones from the AD 79 eruption.
Such an exciting project to watch unfold. #Pompeii
@pompeii_sites @MassimoOsanna A few more views of the incredibly exciting first glimpses of the tops of the walls emerging from the volcanic ash & amphorae nestled in the pumice in the new excavations in Region V, #Pompeii.
Latest photographs from the new excavations in Region V of #Pompeii. Painted wall plaster emerging from the pumice and a winged putto (cherub) sees daylight once more.

[images courtesy of @MassimoOsanna]
The Director General of #Pompeii, @MassimoOsanna, has released the latest photograph (image 1) of the garden area in Region V that they were excavating when I visited (image 2-4). With the removal of the pumice, a marble garden table has now emerged...
Great video clip by @repubblica of ongoing excavations in Region V in #Pompeii. Road & buildings are exposed & all recorded using high-tech methods during the clearance of 4m of pumice.
[In Italian but gives a sense of the scale & complexity of the dig]

As the new excavations reveal more of the narrow street in Region V, #Pompeii it is reported that there are at least 4 properties with overhanging second floors still in tact.

[Archive image of a known example in Pompeii: heir.arch.ox.ac.uk/pages/view.php…]
Vibrant Pompeian Red wall plaster emerging as the pumice is excavated from a room in Region V, #Pompeii.
Just glorious.

[Image by @MassimoOsanna on Instagram]
A winged figure rises out of the volcanic material in the new excavations in Region V, #Pompeii. Empty wine amphorae were stacked on one of the first floor balconies being excavated in a street alongside the House of the Silver Wedding.

[Images: ansa.it/amp/sito/notiz…]
Oh, stunning! A painted mythological scene of a wounded Adonis with Aphrodite, both surrounded by cupids, is revealed as more pumice is removed from that room in Region V, #Pompeii.

[Images, as ever, courtesy of @MassimoOsanna on Instagram]
And, if I’m not mistaken, just behind the conservator there looks to be niche beginning to appear at the lowest level which would have contained a bed/couch.
Do watch this brilliant short film: a *full* guided tour of this bedroom provided by @corrmezzogiorno with Dir. General of #Pompeii, @MassimoOsanna, describing the mythological scene & other new painted decoration beginning to emerge.
via @pompeii_sites
The bedroom is part of the House of Jupiter, partially excavated in the 1890s (in red on my map) and here's a great photo of these excavations (pompeiiinpictures.com/pompeiiinpictu…). @pompeii_sites just released images of other painted rooms of the house that are being excavated now. #Pompeii
A first proper look at the newly named Casa dei Delfini (House of the Dolphins) in Region V, #Pompeii. So-called because of the recurring theme of dolphins in the entrance hall but other fabulous painted details are coming to light.

m.ilmattino.it/video/-3747926… via @pompeii_sites
Another clip of the discoveries in House of the Dolphins #Pompeii. Until recently only the outline of the front door had been dug. The modern stones blocking the door & retaining volcanic debris have been removed & excavation begun.

rai.it/dl/RaiTV/progr… h/t @richardprice500
The photos used in the last 2 tweets are stills from the @mattinodinapoli news footage and the image of the doorway is from pompeiiinpictures.eu/R5/5%2007%2007…
I am so grateful to @MassimoOsanna for posting these utterly glorious photos on his Instagram account of the latest decorations being revealed in the Region V, #Pompeii excavations.
Do follow him on Instagram instagram.com/massimo_osanna

A feast for the eyes...
Horrific details of a victim of the AD 79 eruption in #Pompeii emerge in Region V excavations. A 35 yr old trying to escape but probably hampered by a diseased leg then gets struck by falling masonry that decapitates them.
Images & info: napoli.repubblica.it/cronaca/2018/0… via @pompeii_sites
The body was found at the crossroads of the Street of the Silver Wedding & the Street of the Balconies on the first floor of a property. Having escaped the accumulation of pumice they were caught in a pyroclastic surge but it’s unclear if decapitation was before/after this surge.
Exciting developments in conjunction with the excavation of the skeleton. Organic material, probably a leather pouch, has been identified around the spine/ribcage containing coins. Three Roman coins are lifted live on TV @vitaindiretta!
raiplay.it/video/2018/05/… via @pompeii_sites
This scene reminds me of drawings of visitors to #Pompeii during the 18th & 19th century excavations of the site.
Images show Emperor Joseph II visiting a house in 1769, that was named after him; Charles III of Bourbon visiting in 1751; and Fiorelli in 1860.
Not much has changed.
Details of the coins being carried in a pouch by victim of the eruption are now emerging. 20 silver coins & 2 bronze ones dating mainly from C2nd BC but incl. 1 denarius of Mark Antony, 1 of Augustus & 2 of Vespasian.
Photos via @pompeii_sites @repubblica
Tremendously exciting discovery of Roman painted electoral messages (‘programmata’) on the facade of one of the houses in Region V. The vivid colours are simply fabulous.

Images courtesy of @pompeii_sites and their Instagram account.
Gnaeus Helvius Sabinus is already well-known in Pompeii. He appears in ~140 electoral messages across the city (map & translation: Cooley & Cooley 2007). He’s going for the office of ‘aedile’ & is often described as a ‘good’ or ‘honest man worthy of office’ by those endorsing him
L. Albucium Celsum seen below Helvius Sabinus’ name is also known from other electoral messages in the Road of the Silver Wedding. It’s been suggested, based on their content, that L. Albucius was the owner of the House of the Silver Wedding in Region V.
Here, in greater detail, is @campbell798 on the two candidates running for political office mentioned in the painted electoral messages that have just emerged from the pumice in #Pompeii.
A truly evocative image of a candelabra (designed to support a lamp) leaning up against a painted wall of a room in Region V.
As excavations reach the floor level a lot more possessions of the ancient Roman inhabitants will come to light. #Pompeii.
1st image: @MassimoOsanna
A poignant reminder of interrupted lives. This wonderful ‘tabula ansata’ (‘tablet with handles’) in the alley of Cecilio Giocondo in Region V #Pompeii, is gradually being revealed to be blank & lacking a painted inscription.

Image: @MediterraneoAnt
This is an excellent map of the area of Region V in #Pompeii currently being excavated and notes the location of the most significant finds to date: from a fresco to a fugitive...

Thanks to @MediterraneoAnt for providing it. More info here: mediterraneoantico.it/articoli/news/…
Good to know the technique of digging out the pumice from the streets of #Pompeii hasn’t changed in over 100 years; it’s still picks & shovels.
Image 1: Spinazzola’s excavation of Via dell’Abondanza, 1911
Image 2&3: current excavation of a street in Region V (by @MassimoOsanna)
Art imitating life. A fresco of a candelabrum, emerging from the volcanic debris and the discovery of a bronze example, still partially buried in pumice. Both from Region V, #Pompeii.

Images: @MassimoOsanna and @pompeii_sites
I love how the curving tree root gently echoes the painted tendril decoration on the wall plaster. From the new excavations in Region V, #Pompeii

Images by @MassimoOsanna & @pompeii_sites
A series of absolutely beautiful photographs taken by @Cesab1967 of excavations in progress in Region V, #Pompeii.
The candelabrum is fully exposed & workmen continue to excavate the volcanic debris, uncovering ceramic vessels & electoral messages.
gds.it/2018/06/08/bon… @GDS_it
Incredible details of a brand new plaster cast of a wide, wooden shuttered/slatted shop door from the excavations in Region V #Pompeii.

Wood, like the organic remains of human bodies, decomposes & plaster is poured into the void in the ash to create a cast.

Image @MassimoOsanna
More electoral messages revealed in Region V, #Pompeii. Wonderful example of a whitewash & name of Albucium splashed over an older notice, presumably for P(ublius) Paquium Proculum for whom we have other announcements of his successful candidacy for post of ‘duumvir’ (magistrate)
Enigmatic figures emerging from the pumice. The latest tantalising glimpses of new wall paintings from the excavations in Region V, #Pompeii

Images by @MassimoOsanna on Instagram.
The skull of the man, whose dramatic death in the pyroclatic surge and who was struck by a door jamb, has been found in the continued excavations of Region V, #Pompeii
ansa.it/english/news/l… via @pompeii_sites and whose images are below.
How the #Pompeii skeleton tells its own story - a really important assessment of the state of the skeleton, supposedly hit by falling masonry in #Pompeii, by @DrKillgrove.
forbes.com/sites/kristina… h/t @STORI3D_PAST
A rare glimpse of First Style plaster decoration in an atrium of a house freshly excavated in Region V, #Pompeii. The plaster creates an effect of plain stone blocks & coloured marble panels and dates from the 2nd cent BC to late 1st cent BC.

[Image courtesy of @MassimoOsanna]
When I say late first century BC I mean early 1st century BC, obviously... #sigh
Vibrant wall paintings in a house on the Alley of the Balconies in Region V, #Pompeii.
Clearly evident is the damage caused by Bourbon tunnelling in the early exploration of the site in the 18th/19th Cent. Tunnels would rip through walls as mission was to find valuable artefacts.
Such a glorious sight - the tops of amphorae bursting through the pumice in a storeroom of a shop on the Alley of the Silver Wedding in Region V, #Pompeii.
They look to be a type of locally produced amphorae that would have contained wine.
[Images by @MassimoOsanna]
A painting of a little figure carrying a pot with a horn strapped to its back has been revealed in a property on via di Mercurio in Region V, #Pompeii. It reminds me of this household deity (‘lar’) holding a bucket and horn.

[Images @MassimoOsanna and collections.artsmia.org/art/2613/stand…]
Part of a beautifully coloured household shrine with a horn-carrying deity (‘lar’), tiny architectural details and a bird perched in some grasses. All wonderful new wall paintings that have recently been revealed in Region V, #Pompeii.
Images courtesy of @MassimoOsanna
Excavations in Region V #Pompeii are excitingly reaching floor level in some areas (house on the Alley of the House of the Silver Wedding) as an amphora is revealed. Conservation of First Style decoration (plaster made to represent blocks of marble & stone)
Images: @MassimoOsanna
What a visual treat from the excavations of Region V #Pompeii! Photographer @Cesab1967 has beautifully captured the latest wall paintings to emerge from the pumice in the House of Jupiter & the importance of immediate conservation work.
Images courtesy of @pompeii_sites Instagram
More stunning photographs by @Cesab1967 documenting the excavation and conservation in Region V #Pompeii from the House of Jupiter.
Images courtesy of @pompeii_sites Instagram.
Yet more wonderful images of the latest discoveries from the House of Jupiter in Region V #Pompeii in this article:
Fresh from the excavations in Region V #Pompeii – image 1 by @Cesab1967 – a little panel with a bird with some cherries. The Romans sure loved their ‘birds with fruit’ motif.
(image 2: House of the Prince of Naples; 3: Oplontis; 4: House of the Vettii)
Illuminating! A fabulous bronze Roman lamp just unearthed in the excavations in Region V #Pompeii. It was found inside the household shrine & looks to have part of the hanging chain still in situ. Simply gorgeous.
Images by GPP team member Teresa via @MassimoOsanna on Instagram.
A Corinthian column capital with egg and dart decoration emerges from the volcanic material in Region V #Pompeii. It’s an impressive architectural stone element for any house to have.
Image via @MassimoOsanna on Instagram.
Uplifting news from excavations in Region V #Pompeii! A fresco of Priapus is revealed in the entrance to one of the houses. Weighing of the phallus on scales is known from House of the Vettii.
Image 1: percevalasnotizie.wordpress.com/2018/08/14/sco…
Image 2&3: via @pompeii_sites
It appears the new Priapus fresco was found in the entrance of a house in Region V that opens up onto the Via del Vesuvio which leads up to the Vesuvius Gate in the north of the city where the aqueduct enters #Pompeii through the Castellum Aquae.
Priapus is, amongst his duties, god of fertility (despite being made impotent from birth). The phallus also acts as an apotropaic sign (wards off the evil eye) & in this case, as with the example in Vettii, demonstrates wealth/success as it’s weighed against a sack of money.
Other new discoveries from Region V #Pompeii come in the form of frescoes with vignettes of fantastical landscapes with fabulous faux wooden shutters & the portrait in a medallion.
Image 1: via @pompeii_sites
Image 2: via @MassimoOsanna on Instagram
In this slightly clearer photo I’m sure it looks like the small painted panel on the right is a still life of loaves of bread (?) resembling the one in Naples Museum (the two loaves in top right corner).
The portrait has been inhanced too.
[Image 1&3 via @pompeii_sites Instagram]
Exquisite detail on the head of a snake slithering out from the pumice in Region V excavations #Pompeii. The fresco is on a shrine; a snake represented the genius (spirit) of a household/individual/place & provided protection & the pine cone symbolised life.
Image: @MassimoOsanna
The appearance of snakes on household shrines is common, either singly or in a pair, and their association with pine cones or eggs symbolising life or immortality is also frequent in #Pompeii.
As excavations in The House of Jupiter in Region V, #Pompeii reach floor level, a wonderful collection of globular pots, dishes and various amphorae are being discovered.

Images by @MassimoOsanna on Instagram
And today this image of a gorgeous painted panel depicting some cherries on a tiny shelf, was released. Found in the House of Jupiter, Region V #Pompeii. I adore the delicate tendrils of vegetation too.
Image by @MassimoOsanna on Instagram

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Dr Sophie Hay

Dr Sophie Hay Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @pompei79

Aug 24, 2018
Annual reminder that although it is claimed, this probably *wasn’t* the day that Vesuvius erupted in AD 79 burying the landscape in volcanic debris and covering the Roman cities of #Pompeii and Herculaneum as well as rural villas in the area.
According to letters Pliny the Younger wrote to Tacitus, detailing his eye-witness account of the AD 79 eruption, it happened on August 24th.
Except that it probably didn’t. We only have transcribed copies of these letters & so there’s a chance the date was copied down wrong.
The most persuasive archaeological evidence we have from the cities that Vesuvius buried to indicate the eruption may have been later in the year, are ripe pomegranates. These generally ripen & are harvested in autumn not August. The eruption date is probably in Sept or Oct.
Read 7 tweets
Jul 30, 2018
I’ve waited 22 years but very recently I finally got to visit the Roman theatre at #Herculaneum which is still buried in the eruption material of AD 79. My excitement was palpable... #HerculaneumTheatre
The Roman theatre in Herculaneum is located just north of the excavated part of the ancient town. But for a series of tunnels dug through it in the 18th/19th centuries, it lies hidden from view under the volcanic debris of 79AD. Only small glimpses of the structure are possible.
Today, the descent into the theatre is through a building on Via Mare & by way of a steep flight of steps cut into the volcanic material, just as it was at the time of the Grand Tour in the 18th century.

Image 2: 1840 lithograph of some of the visitors to the theatre (anonymous)
Read 21 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Don't want to be a Premium member but still want to support us?

Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal

Or Donate anonymously using crypto!


0xfe58350B80634f60Fa6Dc149a72b4DFbc17D341E copy


3ATGMxNzCUFzxpMCHL5sWSt4DVtS8UqXpi copy

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!