[Page updated: 2013-04-22] [Page printed: 2017-02-20]
FIELDWORK IN INSULA V 1
The analysis of Insula V 1 is conducted as a systematic investigation proceeding from north to south. The project has been carried out in two phases. The first (2000-2006) included the northern 2/3 of the insula. It also involved the training of staff and the testing of different documentation methods. In 2007, with the creation of the present web page, the project went digital. The second phase of fieldwork (2007-2012) covered the remaining, southern part of the insula. The fieldwork was followed up on the present page, functioning as combined research platform and publication.
The main tasks in the field is to fill the void of documentation lingering with this insula since its excavation. The southernmost part was freed in the 1830s, the northern in the 1870s. The excavations were published very briefly, if at all, according to the standards of the time, with focus on the decorated parts of the larger houses. Our work is, thus, to revisit the scene. The houses are cleared, the standing structures and floors are photographed, minutely described and analysed. Plasters applied to the walls in antiquity are classified by means of ocular microscope analysis. Clearance principally implies cleaning of the ancient floors down to their AD 79 levels, but sometimes when such floor are lacking, the investigation is pushed further in new excavations. The results of the documentation are presented on the present page.
It is our ambition to create a photographical documentation which is as comprehensive as possible. The overall documentation of the walls is made in many separate prints that subsequently are put together in the computer by the photographer. Each room should be represented by at least four photographic montages, presenting its four walls in full. Detail photographs, most often produced by the archaeologists, mirror special points of interest for the analysis.
In 2008-2009 a large part of the insula was restored and a number of walls reconstructed. The photographs were taken before the restoration (between 2005-2007). When restored walls were photographed in 2011/2012, the date is given.
X = restored parts of the wall photographed and merge with the lower part and floor line of earlier photos from 2005-2007.
In two brief campaigns, 2011-2012, the whole insula was scanned. After processing (meshing) the acquisitoned data will be presented on this webpage. Instruments to analyse the digital building will be proposed in order to allow external researchers to have access to measuring and to inspect any feature that characterise the buildings (a visual 3D-index function).
New plans and sections through the houses, as well as drawings of the façades towards the streets are made. The whole "insula" has been measured by means of a total station. The nothern part has been drawn manually in scale 1:20. The ground plan of the southern part will instead be produced digitally by means of processing the scanned data.
When in a good state of preservation, several layers of plaster cover the walls. Some are undercoats, other carry the final painted decoration. The representative parts of the houses were normally redecorated and display several coats of plaster, both painted and not. The composition of these plasters varies, but generally remain similar within a same phase of decoration. A plaster stratigraphy may be constituted and used for establishing chronology, thus supplementing the traditional archaeological masonry study. The method was elaborated by Dr. Reinhard Meyer-Graft and taught to the restorers belonging to our team during the first field campaign in 2000.