Pompeii reveals its secrets: a blue sacrarium discovered in the ancient city. PICTURES


By John

An in-depth analysis of a new environment excavated in the central area of ​​the ancient city, painted in blue and interpretable as a sacrarium, or a space dedicated to ritual activities and the conservation of sacred objects, has been published in the Pompeii Excavations e-Journal. The environment was previewed in the Rai Special Wonders of 27 May, edited and hosted by Alberto Angela.

On a blue background, the walls show female figures flanking the niches in the centre, and which depict, in the lateral ones, the four seasons, the Horae, while in those on the central wall allegories of agriculture and sheep-rearing, as indicated by the attributes of the plow and pedum, a short stick used by shepherds and hunters.

The blue color found here was rarely witnessed in Pompeian frescoes and was generally present in environments of great decorative importance. Already partially explored in the Bourbon era, the excavation revealed objects belonging to the furnishings of the house, temporarily deposited during the construction works extended to the entire complex. Fifteen transport amphorae and a bronze kit consisting of two jugs and two lamps were found in the room. There are also accumulations of building materials, ready to be used in renovations.

On the entrance threshold a pile of already consumed oyster shells was found which, once chopped, were probably added to the mixtures for the plasters and mortars. The room, which measures approximately 8m2, emerged among the structures located in the southern portion of the block, pertaining to a secondary district of a large domus, which has so far revealed a spa district still under excavation and a large black frescoed hall overlooking on a courtyard, with access staircase to the first floor of the complex.

The excavation activity which is affecting insula 10 of Regio IX is part of a broader project to secure the perimeter front between the excavated and non-excavated area, and to improve the hydrogeological structure, aimed at making the protection of the vast Pompeian heritage (more than 13 thousand rooms in 1070 residential units, in addition to public and sacred spaces) more effective and sustainable.