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The Insula of the Menander at Pompeii: Volume 1: The Structures$
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Roger Ling, Paul Arthur, Georgia Clarke, Estelle Lazer, Lesley A. Ling, Peter Rush, and Andrew Waters

Print publication date: 1997

Print ISBN-13: 9780198134091

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198134091.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 18 June 2021

Excavation and Restoration

Excavation and Restoration

Chapter:
(p.10) Excavation and Restoration
Source:
The Insula of the Menander at Pompeii: Volume 1: The Structures
Author(s):

Roger Ling

Paul Arthur

Georgia Clarke

Estelle Lazer

Lesley A. Ling

Peter Rush

Andrew Waters

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198134091.003.0010

Like most parts of pompeii, I 10 was explored and plundered by tunnellers before the modern excavations. It is important, in this respect, to distinguish the activities of the victims of the eruption from those of later intruders. A number of victims were trapped in the insula. Two skeletons were found in room 9 of the Casa del Fabbro, two more in room 8 of the Casa degli Amanti, and a total of eighteen In the Casa del Menandro — an adult and child in room 43 of I 10, 16 (see p. 117), two adults and a child at a high level, perhaps in the roof space, above the stable, three equipped with a pick and drag-hoe just inside the entrance of room 19, and a further ten equipped with a lantern about 2.50 m. above the floor in the adjacent corridor Pl. Some writers have suggested that the last thirteen, at least, were not, as Maiuri believed, occupants of the house trying to escape but later tunnellers who had been trapped or overcome by fumes. The presence of digging implements certainly indicates that the people in question had dug through, or were planning to dig through, the volcanic material; but it Is less certain that they had broken any of the holes visible In the neighbouring walls, since their tools were singularly inadequate for this task; and the fact that the dead Included women and very young children (Appendix F) makes it unlikely that this was a party bent on salvage or pillage. There is no reason, therefore, to question Maiuri’s original view that they were victims of the eruption. But that the insula was extensively explored by tunnellers is clear from the Innumerable breaches (Pl 120). Almost all the enclosed rooms—that is, spaces which had not been open to the air so were not completely blocked by volcanic debris—show breaches In at least two walls—and frequently two breaches in each wall, one at a higher level and one at a lower. It is scarcely credible that all of these were made by victims trying to escape.

Keywords:   Yale University, photographs, Superintendency, roofs, timber structures, tunnellers

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