New excavation work has begun at Pompeii in a previously unexplored part of the site. The project is part of wider efforts to protect and conserve Pompeii’s ‘excavation fronts’, the vulnerable boundaries between the excavated areas of the city and those parts that remain buried, which still make up c.22ha, or a third of the site.
The latest archaeological work aims to uncover an area of c.3,200m2 – almost a whole block of the ancient city – in the centre of Pompeii: at Insula 10 of Regio IX, along via di Nola. The excavations are only in their early stages, but already signs of the upper parts of ancient buildings are beginning to emerge.
Meanwhile, work in another section of Pompeii reveals that there is still plenty to be discovered in areas of the city that have already been excavated. Excavations of the Stabian Baths, on Pompeii’s main street, via dell’Abbondanza, first took place in the 1850s, but recently archaeologists have returned to this area to find out more about its full history. Below the western part of the bath complex, archaeologists have uncovered the remains of a luxurious house with a mosaic floor. A white mosaic with a black border, it has a geometric pattern in the centre made up of squares of black, white, and green tesserae, bordered by a double red and black band: a decorative motif known from other sites.
The house was abandoned after an earthquake in AD 62 and demolished to make room for an extension of the Stabian Baths, which were under restoration at the time, as well as several shops. However, we now know more about what occupied this area until just a few decades before the eruption of Vesuvius in AD 79.