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13. Boscoreale. Villa della Pisanella. Villa rustica di Lucio Cecilio Giocondo alla Pisanella. Villa del tesoro di argenterie. Villa of the silver treasure. Villa Maxima.

Excavated 1895-1899.

 

Excavated by Vincenzo De Prisco on his fondo at Boscoreale, in via Settetermini, contrada Pisanella.

 

Part 1      Part 2      Part 3      Part 4

Bibliography

Notizie degli Scavi di Antichità, 1876, pp. 196 ff.

Notizie degli Scavi di Antichità, 1877, pp. 17 ff.; p.182-183.

Notizie degli Scavi di Antichità, June 1877, p.445.

Notizie degli Scavi di Antichità, 1895, p.207-214.

Notizie degli Scavi di Antichità, 1896, p.204-206.

Notizie degli Scavi di Antichità, 1896, p.230-6.

Notizie degli Scavi di Antichità, 1899, pp. 14 ff.

Barnabei F., 1901. La villa pompeiana di P. Fannio Sinistore. Roma: Accademia dei Lincei. (p.8-12), for detail see end of pages

Borgongino M. & Stefani G. About the date of the 79AD eruption in Rivista di Studi Pompeiani, Vol XII-XIII, 2001-2002. pp. 177-215.

Cardone E. Boscoreale: tesori archeologici e villa della Pisanella. https://www.vesuviolive.it/

Cardone M. Le ville rustiche e le condizioni agricole e del commercio dell’Antica Pompei Torresette News

Carrington, R. 1931. Studies in the Campanian “Villae Rusticae” in Journal of Roman Studies, 21, pp. 111 (n. 13), 113 and note, 119 and note 3, 126, 129.

Casale A., La favola delle cicogne da due boccali d'argento del "Tesoro di Boscoreale": Sylva Mala II, Bollettino del Centro Studi Archeologici di Boscoreale, Boscotrecase e Trecase, 1981, p.5.

Casale A. Breve storia degli scavi archeologici nel pagus Augustus Il Gazzettino Vesuviano 1979, pp. 6-10.

Casale A. La favola delle cicogne da due boccali d'argento del Tesoro di Boscoreale: Sylva Mala II 1981, p. 5 Centro Studi Archeologici di Boscoreale, Boscotrecase e Trecase

Casale A., Bianco A., Primo contributo alla topografia del suburbio pompeiano: Supplemento al n. 15 di ANTIQUA ottobre-dicembre 1979, 1, fig. 1, p. 30.

Casale A., D'Errico A., Via e Vico Sanfelice (Dint' 'e Cappetella) L'Informa Comune, Boscoreale n.4 Dicembre 2006.

Castaldi, F. 1950. La trasformazione della villa rustica in rapporto alle condizioni della agricoltura: Annali Istituto Sup. S. Chiara di Napoli, 2, pp. 269 ff., fig. 11- 12.

Crova, B. 1942. Edilizia e tecnica rurale di Roma antica, Milano, pp.47ff., 164ff.

Day, J., 1932. Agriculture in the life of Pompeii: Yale Classical Studies, 3, pp. 170 ff., 180 ff., 183, tav. A, B, C, n. 13.

De Carolis E., 2004. A proposito di alcune lucerne in ferro di Pompei in Rivista di Studi Pompeiani, Vol XV. p.67 no. 7.

De Cou H. F. Antiquities from Boscoreale in Field Museum Of Natural History (January 1, 1912), p. 155-6

De Villefosse, A. H., 1899. Le tresor de Boscoreale: Monuments Ant. Piot, V.

Della Corte, M., 1965. Case ed abitanti di Pompei, Napoli, pp. 433 ff.

Della Corte, M., 1951. Cleopatra, M. Antonio e Ottaviano nelle allegorie storico-umoristiche delle argenterie del tesoro di Boscoreale, Pompei.

Fabbricotti, E., 1976. I bagni nelle prime ville romane: Cronache Pompeiane, 2, pp. 66 ff, fig. 29, 29a, 29b, 29c.

Garcia y Garcia, L., 2006. Danni di guerra a Pompei. Rome: L’Erma di Bretschneider, pp. 44, 176, 193, 197, 198, 200, 201, 215.

Garcia y Garcia, L., 2017. Scavi ‘Privati’ nei territori di Pompei (p.100, Villa No.16, including large Bibliography, pp. 108-115).

Gervais-Courtellemont, J. 1895. Trésor de Boscoreale - Album de 33 planches INHA

Gervais-Courtellemont, J. 1895. Trésor de Boscoreale – Avant restauration. Album de 17 planches INHA

Heron De Villefosse, A. 1895. Le trésor d'argenterie de Bosco Reale Persee.fr

Heron De Villefosse, A. 1899. Le Trésor de Boscoreale [article] Persee.fr

Heron De Villefosse, A. 1903. L'Argenterie et les bijoux d'or du Trésor de Boscoreale : Description des pièces conservées au Musée du Louvre INHA

Kuttner, Ann L. 1995. Dynasty and Empire in the Age of Augustus: The Case of the Boscoreale Cups  Berkeley: University of California Press

Louvre - Trésor de Boscoreale RMN (Some but not all of the treasure items are shown on our pages. Use this link to see a more complete set of the items)

Maggio dei Monumenti: ecampania https://www.ecampania.it/napoli/cultura/boscoreale-successo-pubblico-colori-novus-ager

Mau, A., 1908. Pompeji in Leben und Kunst, Lipsia 1908, pp. 381-88, cap. XLV (Die Villa rustica bei Boscoreale).

Mau, A., 1907, translated by Kelsey F. W. Pompeii: Its Life and Art. New York: Macmillan, pp. 361-366, plan IV.

Parco Archeologico di Pompei web site. Boscoreale, Storia degli Scavi: La Villa della Pisanella

Pasqui A., in La Villa Pompeiana della Pisanella presso Boscoreale, in Monumenti Antichi VII 1897, pp. 397-554 and plan Tav. XIV.

Polacco, L., 1954-5. Il trionfo di Tiberio nella tazza Rotschild di Boscoreale : Mem.Accademia Patavina di Scienze Lettere e Arti, 68 (1954-55).

Rostovzev, M., 1973. Storia economica e sociale dell'Impero romano, Firenze, 5° ediz, p. 33, note 26, n.13-13a.

Russo D. La villa rustica come fenomeno economico con particolare riferimento alle ville rustiche del suburbio pompeiano in Sylva Mala V, Bollettino del Centro Studi Archeologici di Boscoreale, Boscotrecase e Trecase, 1984, p. 1, pp. 4-9.

Russo D., Sulla classificazione delle Ville Romane del Rostovzev, Sylva Mala II, Bollettino del Centro Studi Archeologici di Boscoreale, Boscotrecase e Trecase, 1981, p.7.

Servino F. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sf-HK_P0unQ

Stefani G., La Villa del Tesoro delle Argenterie di Boscoreale: in Guzzo, P. (A cura di), 2006. Argenti a Pompei. Milano, Electa, pp. 180-190.

Stefani, G. La Villa della Pisanella in Casali di ieri Casali di oggi -Architteture rurali e techniche agricole nel territorio di Pompei e Stabiae, Mostra 2000. (pp. 65-68).

Varone A., in Stefani G., 2005. Cibi e sapori a Pompei e dintorni: Antiquarium di Boscoreale, 3 febbraio-26 giugno 2005, p. 17.

 

The current position of Villa della Pisanella

La Villa della Pisanella, scavata fra il 1895 ed il 1899, è oggi risepolta. La struttura è costituita da una ‘pars urbana’ riservata al proprietario (stanze di soggiorno decorate in III stile, un quartiere termale) ed una ‘pars rustica’, con dormitori per la servitù, un panificio, una stalla, una pressa per il vino (torcular) ed un frantoio per l’olio (trapetum). Dalla capacità dei contenitori ritrovati nella cella vinaria si deduce che la villa gestiva circa 24 ettari di terreno. Proprietario ne fu, secondo alcuni studiosi, Lucius Caecilius Iucundus, famoso banchiere di Pompei.
Nel 1895 vi si rinvenne un tesoro di argenteria andato disperso fra il Museo del Louvre e la Collezione Rothschild. Il tesoro era composto da 1037 monete d’oro (pari a 102.800 sesterzi) e da un servizio di argenteria composto da 108 pezzi di epoca augustea. I pezzi più importanti sono costituiti da due coppe con il 'Trionfo di Tiberio' ed 'Augusto in trono', bicchieri con eroti, con animali e con scheletri di filosofi, due brocche con Vittorie sacrificanti, una patera con il busto dell’Africa e due phialai con busti-ritratto a rilievo.
Del Tesoro facevano parte anche alcuni gioielli. Dalla villa provengono inoltre numerose testimonianze dell’ instrumentum domesticum ovvero suppellettili di uso domestico.

 

The Villa of Pisanella, excavated between 1895 and 1899, is today reburied. The structure consisted of a “pars urbana” reserved for the owner (living rooms decorated in III style,) and a “pars rustica”, with dormitory rooms for the servants, a bakery, a stable, a wine press (torcular) and an oil mill (trapetum). From the capacity of the containers found in the cella vinaria, it was deduced that the villa had approximately 24 hectares of land. The owner of it was, according to some scholars, Lucius Caecilius Iucundus, famous banker in Pompeii.

In 1895, a treasure trove of silverware was found here, and was shared between the Louvre Museum and the Rothschild Collection. The treasure hoard consisted of 1037 gold coins (102,800 sesterces) and a silver dining service consisting of 108 Augustan-era pieces. The most important pieces consisted of two cups with the “Triumph of Tiberius” and “Augustus enthroned”, glasses with cupids, animals and with skeletons of the philosophers, two pitchers with sacrificing Victory’s, a plate with a bust of Africa, and two phials with portrait busts in relief.

Also included in the treasure was some jewelry. Also from the villa came numerous examples of the household and domestic utensils that were in use.

 

From Parco Archeologico di Pompei web site. See Boscoreale, Storia degli Scavi: La Villa della Pisanella

 

Boscoreale villa locations

 

Boscoreale, location plan of Villa Pisanella and other villas based on the plan displayed in Bocoreale Antiquarium.

Photo courtesy of Google Earth.

The locations are an indication only. Most of the villas are buried and not visitable.

To see these villas see our page Boscoreale villas

The Boscoreale Antiquarium and Villa Regina, Villa dei Misteri and Pompeii are shown.

The two new Circumvesuviana stations at Boscoreale and Villa Regina are also shown.

Villa Regina station is on the same Napoli – Sorrento – Napoli line as Pompeii Scavi Villa dei Misteri and is the stop before/after Pompeii Scavi.

The new Boscoreale station is on the Napoli – Torre Annunziata -Poggiomarino line adjacent to the old station which is now closed.

The line through the new Boscoreale station has been diverted and is underground, removing the need for six above ground level crossings.

 

Villa Pisanella Plan

 

Villa della Pisanella, Boscoreale. Casale Bianco Plan CB1.
See Casale A., Bianco A., Primo contributo alla topografia del suburbio pompeiano: Supplemento al n. 15 di ANTIQUA ottobre-dicembre 1979, 1, fig. 1, p. 30.
(Note the different numbering of the rooms above, as opposed to the plan in Notizie degli Scavi, and by Pasqui and Barnabei, see below).

Villa della Pisanella, Boscoreale. Casale Bianco Plan CB1.

See Casale A., Bianco A., Primo contributo alla topografia del suburbio pompeiano: Supplemento al n. 15 di ANTIQUA ottobre-dicembre 1979, 1, fig. 1, p. 30.

(Note the different numbering of the rooms above, as opposed to the plan in Notizie degli Scavi, and by Pasqui and Barnabei, see below).

 

1876 description from Notizie degli Scavi, 1876, p. 196-7

 

Besides the mentioned discoveries in the interior of the ancient city we will recall the attention to an important fact for archaeological study, and for the topography of the countryside buried by Vesuvius eruption. The cav. Luigi Modestino Pulzella referred on the 9 November, as in digging the foundation for the wall at his fondo in the tenement of Boscoreale, the builders had stumbled onto a wall of ancient work and several amphorae, part broken and part whole. The esteemed engineer director of excavations in Pompeii, Michele Ruggiero, due to the provisions for the monitoring of the work wanted to visit the place, communicating then to the Ministry the following report.

 

“The fondo on Sig.Pulzella, in contrada called Pisanella, was located two kilometres to the north of Pompeii.

 

The excavation has for its confines, to the west the public road which leads to Boscoreale called Settetermini, to the south the territory of Angelo Andrea di Prisco, and the other two sides the remaining fondo of Pulzella. The building discovered so far clearly showed an old house, decorated in the same way of the Pompeian house, in the room that has been entirely unearthed one can see to the depth of about 8.00 metres from the floor of the countryside, the mosaic floor with white background, having in the middle a crab and some black geese. The walls are painted red, and finished with a carved stone stucco cut with much grace, over which you can see the signs of crushed straw/reeds, covering almost all the rooms of Pompeii. The other walls do have plaster.

 

Next to this room would have been the atrium, if I am not mistaken by the large amount of lapilli, and a sunken channel in the floor. In two places, one could still see lead pipes for water. The objects found so far are more than a hundred of amphorae, on two or three of which were some painted characters, a bronze nasiterno, a great lead boiler, hinges, iron gratings, and several remains of glass for windows, and other minor things, all similiar to those of Pompeii.

 

The lapilli that covered this House (because of which I couldn't yet measure the height) was similar to that of Pompeii, with several layers of earth above, fragmented by some under very thin layers of sand or of minute lapilli, more similar to the earth of Herculaneum and Pompeii's ".

 

Page 197:

Further research has then shown, therein arose a villa rustica, in which were produced in particular, wine, if you argued from the immense quantity of amphorae which were returned to light. And because the continuation of the investigation could produce some remarkable monument, I made appropriate practices to get that work be carried out on behalf of the Government, and under the immediate direction and supervision of the staff of the excavations.”

 

1877 description from Notizie degli Scavi, 1877, p. 182-3.

 

BOSCOREALE, on land owned by Pulzella. The work continued in the following manner:

 

Begun to clear out a room to the west of the public road, the skeletons of two dogs were found there at the top, and on the western side of the wall at a height of about 1.75m above the floor level, appeared a window 0.77m high, 0.60m wide, with the corresponding grating in a very good state of preservation, and with glass plate broken into several pieces.


This room, whose walls were covered with red stucco panels, with an elegant pure white stucco frieze, measuring in length 3.00m, and in width 2.45m. The floor was of white mosaic of white strips edged with black mosaic, which carried in the centre a marine crab and four geese. Along the north wall near the floor runs a lead pipe for the carrying of water, and in each of the other walls opened a door to a room, in the form of an arch, 1.77m high, and 0.70m wide.

 

To the east of the described room, another of them began to appear in the middle of the month, there was communication by means of one of the indicated rooms. Before excavating it entirely, you could see that it continued in its south side under the land of Sig. Andrea Angelo Prisco.

 

Therefore turning the work to the northern part, one explored the tract under the ceiling, where amphorae were found, of which many others were discovered, it seemed that there was a deposit of such utensils, extending from the east side. The room, which was excavated for a stretch for approximately the length of the 6m, had rough walls and without plaster; the floor was simply made of beaten earth, and found there were the skeletons of two horses with remains of their chains, by which it would be supposed that they were used in the stable. Piercing the wall to explore the opposite part on the north side, a concrete conduit was found, 0.70m wide, 0.19m high, all preserved, whose continuation could not be observed because of the danger that the excavation entailed.

 

Of the objects (Bronze, Iron, Lead, Glass, Terracotta, Organic Remains, and Groceries) that had been found, the excavation Director published the following list – see page 183.

 

1877 description from Notizie degli Scavi, June 1877, p. 445

Note list of objects found at Pulzella near Pompeii (p.183) of which two glasses must be added for particular consideration.

 

The first was a dish of uncommon greatness, broken in the middle; the other was a slab of intact window, 0.53m high, 0.49m wide, with an average size of 2.5mill. Although this glass of this slab is that green tint, and thus similar to the fragments that are conserved in the Museum of Naples, it should be observed that the slab was smoothed with greater accuracy, and shows greater perfection, in addition to its remarkable size.

 

1895 description of rooms on north-west side of villa in Notizie degli Scavi, 1895, p. 207-214

 

Villa della Pisanella, Boscoreale. Plan from Notizie degli Scavi di Antichita 1895, p. 208 fig. 1. 
(See further below for rooms as described in Notizie degli Scavi di Antichità in 1899, and description by Pasqui and Barnabei).

Villa della Pisanella, Boscoreale. Plan from Notizie degli Scavi di Antichita 1895, p. 208 fig. 1.

(See further below for rooms as described in Notizie degli Scavi di Antichità in 1899, and description by Pasqui and Barnabei).

 

Room A. Kitchen

The central part of the floor, bounded by a masonry rim, was used as a hearth, as was apparent by the ashes and the finding of a grating and an iron tripod. The walls were of opera incerta, except for the door-jambs made of alternating rows of brick and tufa.

In the west wall was the usual niche “b”, arched and made of opus laterizia.

Attached to the north-east corner was the stairway “c”, of which three masonry steps remained, and at the foot of these was a square basin “d” (0.40 x 0.70 m deep).

In the south-west corner was the water-tank “e” consisting of a rectangular (0.90 m x 0.70m x 0.75 m high) lead container situated above a masonry podium at a heigth of about one metre above the ground.

In the extreme north of the western wall opened an arched room in communication with the baths area, and another similar room which was walled up by the ancients, as you could see in the extreme south of the same wall, where the lead vessel was located.

In the south-east wall corner opened a passage to the locality not yet excavated.

In the south wall one opened the doorway to the room with the praefurnium "B". In this, one went down by five steps; and on the opposite side was a staircase of three rungs, by which one went up onto a structure leaning on the right wall, which was equally against the lead boiler "i", consisting of two circular cylinders, a circular base, overall height of 2 m and 0.50 m in diameter.

This boiler, already covered at the top by a circular terracotta lid, rested on a bronze plate supported in turn by a grating of iron rods, which rested on masonry furnace. In the height of the furnace and through the wall, to which it was attached, was a bronze cylindrical box, diam. 0.30m, and 0.60 m deep, which, while it was closed from the bottom towards the furnace, presented the mouth in the usual arched compartment, which arose from the bottom of the tub of the calidarium.

The connections between the tank in “A” and the lead boiler in "B" was effected by means of a system of lead pipes,

(see Pasqui, page 209-210)

 

Room B. Boiler room

 

Room C. Apodyterium and/or frigidarium

Possibly the apodyterium or frigidarium or both together, but not yet excavated, reached through an arched area in the west side of the kitchen.

 

Room D. Tepidarium

The walls of this room were covered with a facing of tegulae mammatae.

The walls were of painted stucco showing black panels with red bands, and a white mosaic floor in the middle of which was a mosaic of a black dolphin.

The room was covered with a crushed vault made from reeds.

 

Room E. Caldarium

This was reached by a doorway from the tepidarium, on the left side (east) of which the marble bathing tub “g” (alveus) was placed, it also had marble steps.

On the right, west side, was the schola labri “h”, it also had a mosaic floor, and was covered with a barrel-vaulted ceiling that for reasons of lightness was formed of rectangular tubes of terracotta.

 

Room F. Room  

Near to A and B was room F, which had an entrance doorway surmounted by a window in its east wall.

Found in this area on 1st October was a bronze seal with a backward legend in raised letters (see page 210)

L. Britti(us) Eros

(cfr. CIL X, p.1063: a B. Brittius Eros recurs in the waxed tablets of Cecilio Giocondo).

 

Villa della Pisanella, Boscoreale. Seal of L Brittius Eros.

Villa della Pisanella, Boscoreale. Seal of L Brittius Eros.

 

Room G. Triclinium with red walls

This room was decorated with red walls and a black zoccolo (plinth), and was decorated with squares of which two remained, the one showed two dead birds, and the other one showed a hunter on a horse chasing a deer.

Sogliano made the point in Notizie degli Scavi di Antichità, that he could not observe these panels “because the bad air prevented me from descending into that locality”.

 

Villa della Pisanella, Boscoreale. May 2018. Room G, triclinium with red walls. Fresco with hunt scene.
Now in Boscoreale Antiquarium. Photo courtesy of Buzz Ferebee.

Villa della Pisanella, Boscoreale. May 2018. Room G, triclinium with red walls. Fresco with hunt scene.

Now in Boscoreale Antiquarium. Photo courtesy of Buzz Ferebee.

 

Villa della Pisanella, Boscoreale. May 2018. Room G, room with red walls. Detail of a hunter on a horse chasing a deer.
Now in Boscoreale Antiquarium. Photo courtesy of Buzz Ferebee.

Villa della Pisanella, Boscoreale. May 2018. Room G, room with red walls. Detail of a hunter on a horse chasing a deer.

Now in Boscoreale Antiquarium. Photo courtesy of Buzz Ferebee.

 

Villa della Pisanella, Boscoreale. May 2018. Room G, triclinium with red walls, north wall. Fresco with one (or two) dead bird(s) on a windowsill.
Now in Boscoreale Antiquarium. Inventory number 20554. Photo courtesy of Buzz Ferebee.
The Antiquarium label describes it as one dead bird on a windowsill. 
Varone in 2005 describes it as two song thrushes, one on a shelf and the other lying on a windowsill with its head hanging down.
See Varone A., in Stefani G., 2005. Cibi e sapori a Pompei e dintorni: Antiquarium di Boscoreale, 3 febbraio-26 giugno 2005, p. 17.

Villa della Pisanella, Boscoreale. May 2018. Room G, triclinium with red walls, north wall. Fresco with one (or two) dead bird(s) on a windowsill.

Now in Boscoreale Antiquarium. Inventory number 20554. Photo courtesy of Buzz Ferebee.

The Antiquarium label describes it as one dead bird on a windowsill.

Varone in 2005 describes it as two song thrushes, one on a shelf and the other lying on a windowsill with its head hanging down.

See Varone A., in Stefani G., 2005. Cibi e sapori a Pompei e dintorni: Antiquarium di Boscoreale, 3 febbraio-26 giugno 2005, p. 17.

 

Villa della Pisanella, Boscoreale. May 2018. Room G, room with red walls. Detail from fresco with two dead birds.
Photo courtesy of Buzz Ferebee.

Villa della Pisanella, Boscoreale. May 2018. Room G, triclinium with red walls. Detail from fresco with two dead birds.

Photo courtesy of Buzz Ferebee.

 

Room H. Corridor or fauces

Behind the wall of “G” ran the corridor “H”, where a human skeleton was found, near to which was gathered five Republican denarii and three Imperial coins of oxidised bronze.

 

Room I.  Room with white walls

On the south side of “H” was “I” with white walls and red zoccolo.

 

Room K. Room, not fully excavated

 

Room L. Room, not fully excavated

In "L", the shape in plaster of a cupboard/wardrobe was obtained, the height was 1.67m, the front face was 0.91m wide, and the side face measured 0.70m size: this shape was not devoid of interest, because it kept in their place the bone hinges of the two beam/battens.

 

In Notizie degli Scavi, 1895, a rustic villa was reported as being found by Sig. De Prisco in the fondo in his ownership, sited in the district called Pisanella, about three kilometres north of Pompeii.  

The excavation was carried out in the same place, where in 1876 explorations were made by the Cav. Modestino Pulzella (cfr. Notizie, 1876, p.196 and 1877, p. 17, 96 and 128), whose fondo bordered to the south with the territory of Sig. De Prisco. The new excavation was to the same villa rustica, that was buried partly in the land of Pulzella, partly in the fondo De Prisco, and partly under the public roadway called Settetermini leading to Boscoreale, which bordered on the west with those two fondo.

 

The attached plan fig. 1, showed everything that had been excavated by De Prisco. No doubt the most clearly recognizable area were those that showed traces of the bath; and the most important discovery was the preserved apparatus for the heating of the water. (p.208)

 

In addition to the usual bronze household goods, seen in all Pompeian houses, an elegant earthenware amphora was found, which bore the inscription on the neck drawn in ink:

C (or G?) F SCOMBR

SCAVRI

EX- OFFICINA –SCAVR

 

as well as finding certain tiles or tile fragments with known stamps L. Eumachi Erotis, L. Sagini Prodami, N. Silli.

Remarkable though was a fragment of tile with the oscan mark in raised lettering. (see page 211)

 

 

1899 description of rooms on north-west side of villa in Notizie degli Scavi, 1899, p.14-16

Vincenzo de Prisco excavated this area from 27th June to 10th August 1898 to complete the work previously carried out.

 

Villa della Pisanella, Boscoreale. 1899 plan. Rooms B, D, E, F, M, N and O are all as described by Pasqui, see further below. Rooms I, II, and III as below here.
See Notizie degli Scavi di Antichità, 1899, p.14-16.

Villa della Pisanella, Boscoreale. 1899 plan. Note that following further excavations the numbering differs from the NdS 1895 plan. The triclinium G is now F for example.

Rooms B, D, E, F, M, N and O are all as described by Pasqui, see further below. Rooms I, II, and III are as below here.

See Notizie degli Scavi di Antichità, 1899, p.14-16.

 

Room I. Triclinium in north-west corner

This was already partly excavated, see Pasqui’s Room C.

This rectangular room had a floor of crushed brick and walls decorated with a yellow background, whose panels were fragmented by white pillars with architecture.

The zoccolo (lower plinth) was black, and the upper part of the walls had a white background, with the usual architectural concepts.

In the central yellow panel was a painting, and in the side panels were flying monsters.

The north wall was entirely fallen: traces showed that there had been an open window defended by grating.

Another window with the same type of grating opened in the west wall.

Finds were made in this triclinium from 18th July to the 23rd July (see Notizie degli Scavi di Antichità 1899, pages 15 and 16).

On the 22nd July, the remains of three bronze tricliniari beds were found, very poorly preserved by being crushed by falling rubble, showing a thin coating of silver and accurate inlay work in silver. Very notable was the shoulder of the couch which was finished with a swan’s head.

 

Room II. Small bakery with oven “a” and grindstone “b”.

The lead sheet that was intended to receive the flour which fell from the grindstone was preserved, and on the catillus (the upper part of the grindstone) the incised initials P M could be seen. Around the base of the foundation, the furrows made by the footsteps of the slaves who turned the millstone could still be seen.

Another larger catillus, but damaged, was lying on the ground.

The bakery received light from two windows opening in the north wall.

 

Room III. Latrine.

The latrine was part of the baths area, lying next to the tepidarium “N” and apodyterium “M’, with which it was linked.

It was covered with a roof, and lit by two slit windows in the side walls. The floor was made of terracotta tiles which were tilted to drain water.

On the 9th August, a tile fragment with a known stamp was found.

 

Villa della Pisanella, Boscoreale. Stamp of L Eumacherot found on tile fragment.

Villa della Pisanella, Boscoreale. Stamp of L Eumacherot found on tile fragment.

 

Villa della Pisanella. Looking north across Area A, the courtyard/peristyle and cella vinaria (Q on right) during excavations, taken from near above entrance.
See Elisabetta Cardone. Boscoreale: tesori archeologici e villa della Pisanella. https://www.vesuviolive.it/

Villa della Pisanella. Looking north across Area A, the courtyard/peristyle and cella vinaria (Q on right) during excavations, taken from near above entrance.

See Elisabetta Cardone. Boscoreale: tesori archeologici e villa della Pisanella. https://www.vesuviolive.it/

 

Villa della Pisanella. 1903 photograph of villa excavations, looking north-west across Area Q. 
See A cura di Mario Cardone: Le ville rustiche e le condizioni agricole e del commercio dell’Antica Pompei Torresette News

Villa della Pisanella. 1903 photograph of villa excavations, looking north-west across Area Q.

See A cura di Mario Cardone: Le ville rustiche e le condizioni agricole e del commercio dell’Antica Pompei Torresette News

 

Villa della Pisanella, Boscoreale, late 19th century. Looking towards north-east corner of cella vinaria (Area Q) during excavations.
See Casale A, 1979. Breve Storia degli Scavi Archeologici nel Pagus Augustus.
See PDF copy at https://centrostudiarc.altervista.org/pdf/breve%20storia%20pagus%20augustus.pdf
Courtesy of Centro Studi Archeologici di Boscoreale, Boscotrecase e Trecase. Our thanks to Angelandrea Casale.
See also http://www.deprisco.it/pages/storiascavi.htm

Villa della Pisanella, Boscoreale, late 19th century. Looking towards north-east corner of cella vinaria (Area Q) during excavations.

See Casale A, 1979. Breve Storia degli Scavi Archeologici nel Pagus Augustus.

See PDF copy at https://centrostudiarc.altervista.org/pdf/breve%20storia%20pagus%20augustus.pdf

Courtesy of Centro Studi Archeologici di Boscoreale, Boscotrecase e Trecase. Our thanks to Angelandrea Casale.

See also http://www.deprisco.it/pages/storiascavi.htm

 

Villa della Pisanella, Boscoreale, 1912. Looking towards arched entrance door of cella vinaria (Area Q).
Photo by Esther Boise Van Deman © American Academy in Rome, Photographic Archive, VD.Archive.Ph.237.

Villa della Pisanella, Boscoreale, 1912. Looking towards arched entrance door of cella vinaria (Area Q).

Photo by Esther Boise Van Deman © American Academy in Rome, Photographic Archive, VD.Archive.Ph.237.

 

Villa della Pisanella, Boscoreale, May 2015. Remains of villa seen during special opening of the excavation “Maggio dei Monumenti”.
L'evento del Maggio dei Monumenti ha visto l'apertura straordinaria dello scavo della Pisanella.
See https://www.ecampania.it/napoli/cultura/boscoreale-successo-pubblico-colori-novus-ager

Villa della Pisanella, Boscoreale, May 2015. Remains of villa seen during special opening of the excavation “Maggio dei Monumenti”.

L'evento del Maggio dei Monumenti ha visto l'apertura straordinaria dello scavo della Pisanella.

See https://www.ecampania.it/napoli/cultura/boscoreale-successo-pubblico-colori-novus-ager

 

Villa della Pisanella, Boscoreale, September 2011. Information board in Boscoreale Antiquarium. Remains of villa with arch door to cella vinaria on left. 
Photo courtesy of Michael Binns.

Villa della Pisanella, Boscoreale, September 2011. Information board in Boscoreale Antiquarium. Remains of villa with arch door to cella vinaria on left.

Photo courtesy of Michael Binns.

 

Villa della Pisanella, Boscoreale, 1984. Remains of villa with arch door on left.

See Russo D. La villa rustica come fenomeno economico con particolare riferimento alle ville rustiche del suburbio pompeiano in Sylva Mala V, Bollettino del Centro Studi Archeologici di Boscoreale, Boscotrecase e Trecase, 1984, p. 1, pp. 4-9.

Photo courtesy of the Centro Studi Archeologici di Boscoreale, Boscotrecase e Trecase. Our thanks to Angelandrea Casale.

 

Villa della Pisanella, Boscoreale, May 2015. Remains of arched doorway seen during special opening of the excavation “Maggio dei Monumenti”. See https://www.ecampania.it/napoli/cultura/boscoreale-successo-pubblico-colori-novus-ager

Villa della Pisanella, Boscoreale, May 2015. Remains of arched doorway seen during special opening of the excavation “Maggio dei Monumenti”.

See https://www.ecampania.it/napoli/cultura/boscoreale-successo-pubblico-colori-novus-ager

 

Villa della Pisanella, Boscoreale, May 2014. Storage dolia seen during special opening of the excavation.
See May 2014 video by Francesco Servino https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sf-HK_P0unQ

Villa della Pisanella, Boscoreale, May 2014. Storage dolia seen during special opening of the excavation.

See May 2014 video by Francesco Servino https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sf-HK_P0unQ

 

Villa della Pisanella, Boscoreale, 1984. Remains of villa to west of arch doorway. 
See Russo D. La villa rustica come fenomeno economico con particolare riferimento alle ville rustiche del suburbio pompeiano in Sylva Mala V, Bollettino del Centro Studi Archeologici di Boscoreale, Boscotrecase e Trecase, 1984, p. 1, pp. 4-9.
Photo courtesy of the Centro Studi Archeologici di Boscoreale, Boscotrecase e Trecase. Our thanks to Angelandrea Casale.

Villa della Pisanella, Boscoreale, 1984. Remains of villa.

See Russo D. La villa rustica come fenomeno economico con particolare riferimento alle ville rustiche del suburbio pompeiano in Sylva Mala V, Bollettino del Centro Studi Archeologici di Boscoreale, Boscotrecase e Trecase, 1984, p. 1, pp. 4-9.

Photo courtesy of the Centro Studi Archeologici di Boscoreale, Boscotrecase e Trecase. Our thanks to Angelandrea Casale.

 

Villa della Pisanella, Boscoreale, 1957. Model of Villa, looking south-west. The entrance doorway can be seen at the top, centre right. 
Photo by Stanley A. Jashemski.
Source: The Wilhelmina and Stanley A. Jashemski archive in the University of Maryland Library, Special Collections (See collection page) and made available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial License v.4. See Licence and use details.
J57f0407

Villa della Pisanella, Boscoreale, 1957. Model of Villa, looking south-west. The entrance doorway can be seen at the top, centre right.

Photo by Stanley A. Jashemski.

Source: The Wilhelmina and Stanley A. Jashemski archive in the University of Maryland Library, Special Collections (See collection page) and made available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial License v.4. See Licence and use details.

J57f0407

Villa della Pisanella, Boscoreale, villa reconstruction and plan. 
See Domenico Russo, Sulla classificazione delle Ville Romane del Rostovzev, Sylva Mala II, Bollettino del Centro Studi Archeologici di Boscoreale, Boscotrecase e Trecase, 1981, p.7.
See article on Centro Studi Archeologici web site
Photo courtesy of Centro Studi Archeologici di Boscoreale, Boscotrecase e Trecase. Our thanks to Angelandrea Casale.

Villa della Pisanella, Boscoreale, villa reconstruction and plan.

See Domenico Russo, Sulla classificazione delle Ville Romane del Rostovzev, Sylva Mala II, Bollettino del Centro Studi Archeologici di Boscoreale, Boscotrecase e Trecase, 1981, p.7.

See article on Centro Studi Archeologici web site

Photo courtesy of Centro Studi Archeologici di Boscoreale, Boscotrecase e Trecase. Our thanks to Angelandrea Casale.

 

Full Plan of Villa

 

Villa della Pisanella, Boscoreale. 1897 plan of rooms by Pasqui.
See A. Pasqui A., La Villa Pompeiana della Pisanella presso Boscoreale, in Monumenti Antichi VII 1897, Tav. XIV, p.397-554.

Villa della Pisanella, Boscoreale. 1897 plan of rooms by Pasqui.

See A. Pasqui A., La Villa Pompeiana della Pisanella presso Boscoreale, in Monumenti Antichi VII 1897, Tav. XIV, p.397-554.

 

Key to map, by A. Pasqui

Ground floor rooms

A  Peristyle

B  Porter or steward’s room, or “cella atriensis” or “cubicolo dell'atriensis

C  Room to the left of the entrance, which was interrupted by the road, but which went beyond room B, into a well-preserved corner room with at least two windows. (see Pasqui,p.401).

D  Cubiculum/ala

E  Fauces corridor

F  Triclinium

G  Cubiculum

H  Kitchen

       h = well, situated at the base of kitchen stairs

I   Kitchen annexe

L   Praefurnium

M  Apodyterium

N  Tepidarium

O  Calidarium

P   Torcularium for the grapes

       a  = separate area west side of P

       b  = separate area east side of P

       c  = pierced stone above deep hole

       c’ = pierced stone above deep hole

       d  = pierced stone, communicating with underground compartment

       e  = pierced stone, communicating with underground compartment

       e’ = pierced stone, communicating with underground compartment

       f   = stone communciating with a void

       g  = well, with round mouth

       l   = cistern

Q   Cella Vinaria,

      m = cortinale or large lead boiler used to boil the must for making the wine.

R   Rooms of the torcularium

       i = small well, connected to adjacent room stone f

S   Room for the oil

T   Room for the torcularium (press) for the olives.

       n =  forum

       o =  arbor

       p =  stone in which a post of the sucula (capstan) was fixed

       p’ = stone in which a post of the sucula (capstan) was fixed

       q =  square walled well in corner

       r =   identical square walled well

       s =   lacus (vat)

       t =   gemellar (twin vat) with oval shaped basins divided into 2 compartments by a perforated partition wall

U    Trapetum

V    Nubilarium, covered area for storing crops before threshing

Z    Uncovered area on south corner of villa. Possibly the threshing area.

 

Upper floor rooms

The upper floor consisted of two groups of rooms;

One group was above the short wing of the portico near the facade;

The other group was above the nubilarium (V) above the oil workshop (T, U) and above the room of the torcularium (R).

 

Villa della Pisanella, Boscoreale. May 2018. Model of Villa in Boscoreale Antiquarium. Looking from west end of villa. Photo courtesy of Buzz Ferebee.

Villa della Pisanella, Boscoreale. May 2018. Model of Villa in Boscoreale Antiquarium. Looking from west end of villa. Photo courtesy of Buzz Ferebee.

 

General description (see Pasqui, p.397-401)

Please note the brief description below, taken from Pasqui, does not contain the entire text, students should read the actual text of the manuscript to search for any missing items.

 

According to Pasqui, at the end of November 1876 a buried building from the pompeian age was discovered in contrada Pisanella-Settetermini. At that time Sig. Modestino Pulzella was the owner of the land, and in tracing the foundations of a wall at the side of the public road, met an ancient wall, covered in stucco, and also a large quantity of amphorae that seemed to have fallen from a roof (See Notizie degli Scavi di Antichità, 1876, p.196).

 

Sig. Pulzella explored some of the rooms belonging to the walls already discovered, and a list was published of the objects found together with a brief description of that part of the building (see Notizie degli Scavi di Antichità 1877, p.17, 96,128). A small room with a mosaic floor was found, which was thought to belong to the baths area, and in another room, which was used as a stable, two skeletons of horses and the skeleton of a pig and a chicken were found. Finally into another room, then designated as the atrium, but which when fully excavated was recognized as the kitchen.

 

The excavations of Pulzella tended to go westwards and southwards from the point where they started, insomuch that they were the cause of a protest by the adjoining landowner, Sig. De Prisco (see Notizie degli Scavi di Antichità, 1877, p.96).

 

It was therefore evident that Mr. Pulzella had met with the limit of the building; indeed the result of recent excavations prove that the wall of the stable was the end limit of the building in the soil belonging to Sig. Pulzella . The stable was on the north corner of the building, and the bathroom and the kitchen came within the grounds of De Prisco. You could also add that the stable had a doorway located on its north side.

 

The workers involved in those early excavations were testimony that by means of a tunnel you crossed that doorway and came to the outside; so I (Pasqui) went searching, always by means of a tunnel ,along a good part of the surrounding wall, which was fitted with large iron rings, which, being so close to the stable probably served to fasten the beasts of burden. We know by those testimonies and the proven evidence which emerged in recent excavations, that the same tunnel led up to the window of the torcularium, and from this one could attempt to penetrate inside; but the length of the path and the danger of landslides made one abandon the undertaking.

 

Other tunnels were tracked from the point of the original excavation in the inside of the neighbouring rooms. With one, one could cross a room adjacent to the kitchen throughout its length; another, almost at right angles, bordered the wall that divided the kitchen from the bathrooms, etc. Finally with another tunnel one could cross all the rooms of the baths area and by another shorter one, you came out from the first mentioned room of the baths and turned off to the exterior corner of the building. (p. 399-400).

 

In December 1876 excavation ceased, and the walls and the rooms remained as first excavated, then over time the land filled up to half the height; then the upper part soon fell down, and at that point it did not appear more than a dip in the ground covered with bushes.

 

So things remained until 1894, on 10th September of that year Sig. Vincenzo De Prisco, owner of the land adjacent to where Sig. Pulzella made his discoveries, on his own initiative decided to track down all the rooms and isolate the building. The undertaking was certainly not easy having regard to the high layer of volcanic material that hid the building, but it was conducted with extreme caution and neatly; that is beginning with the part already noted by the previous excavations and, as they progressed, restoring and reinforcing the parts unearthed, so that the monument remained in the state in which it was found.

 

The excavations of De Prisco, can be said to have continued without interruption until June 1895. And this time was enough to open up the bathrooms, the kitchen, an atrium, the presses and part of a cella vinaria; which was more than enough to determine that these belonged to a villa rustica. In the course of these important excavations, many objects were found in their various environments. There were chests and cabinets in the walkways of the courtyard, household goods of wood and bronze in the wine-press, and there as well, within a repository, were 40 silver vases and lots of gold coins. Scattered in the upper floors, and other rooms, glass and bronze vessels, amphorae, work utensils, in fact everything that could have belonged or decorated the owner’s dwelling, and in support of a villa rustica.

 

I (Pasqui) was called to assist to this new research, and wrote a brief report published in Notizie degli Scavi di Antichità, 1896, p.234. With these works it was recognized that the building was totally isolated, and across the street, it had its end. The whole building was thus explored, except the area that meets under the limits of the public street, under which only a whole room remains unexplored. By all of these facts, I am able to give a complete description of this pompeian villa called “della Pisanella”.

 

Villa Pisanella layout

 

The villa had a rectangular plan, 39.70m long, 25.50m wide at its sides. On the right side was annexed an uncovered courtyard (piazzale) surrounded by low walls, that by a ten-metre stretch formed an extension of the façade, and then assumed a roundish shape, and went to close itself about half way of the same side.

 

The land where the building stood was plain by nature, and by artifice on the front and along the left side: rising up then on the right side, in manner that the inside corner was found covered for about a metre in height. The external appearance of the building showed clearly two different ways of construction.

 

The part to the left, which was interrupted by the road, but goes beyond this with a well-preserved corner (room C) were built in small blocks of vesuvian lava, alternated with rows of bricks. The part to the right, i.e. from the front door up until the piazzale (rooms Q, V, Z) was built with small pebbles and irregular sarno stone, badly joined together and alternated with pieces of brick/tile and with the remains of an older building - these fragments of plaster with traces of stucco, and fragments of marble and worked travertine. These different constructions were repeated in the interior, and responded to the general division of the villa. In fact to the left was the owner’s quarter (rooms A – O), to the right the areas of the rustic business were found (rooms P – Z).

 

The main entrance doorway opened in the middle of the front. On the left of this was a barred window, which responded to the porter’s room (cella atriensis (room B), and more towards the corner the other larger window, fitted with a solid grating, corresponding to the room in which vessels were found buried under the public road, and that it was located in the corner of the building. Another similar window, at the same level, opened in the same room just turned around the corner.

 

This building, between the doorway and the corner on the left, must have been very high, and perhaps with windows or balconies on the upper floor, as in the interior you find attached to the front part of a floor, which was split in half by a small wall and thus formed two chambers; and on this were gathered many household objects.

 

Lower down, near the facade wall to the right of the doorway, i.e. to the entire width of a cella vinaria (room, Q); and onto which a large window opened in the middle, closed by barred shutters, and to the side were eleven high slits, from one side to the other.

 

Room A, Peristyle (see Pasqui, p.405-427)

 

Villa della Pisanella, Boscoreale. May 2018. Peristyle “A” to left of cella vinaria “Q”. Model of villa in Boscoreale Antiquarium.

Villa della Pisanella, Boscoreale. May 2018. Peristyle “A” to left of cella vinaria “Q”. Model of villa in Boscoreale Antiquarium.

 

The entrance doorway led directly into the peristyle. The peristyle was rectangular, and the long sides had the dividing wall with the cella vinaria on the eastern side, and on the other western long side opened the doorways to the rooms of the owner’s quarters and to the kitchen. On the short sides were part of the façade wall, and part of the wall of the large torcularium (press).

 

The portico had only three walkways; it was covered along its left long side and on its two short sides, remaining open along the wall dividing from the cella vinaria. By means of the three wings (alae), one could walk under cover around all the house and penetrate into the torcularia and the rooms for the servants.

 

The first wing, that was the one corresponding along the façade wall, was covered with a flat roof, above which were placed two rooms. Nevertheless, at the height of this roof and in line with the roof of the other two alae, protruded a large grondaia (water-spout) which in turn received water from the roof above.

 

The cover of the other two wings was a simple roof, placed on brick columns and pilasters. On the walkway that fronted the entrance, the central support consisted of a large pilaster furnished with half-columns at its sides. The corner support was formed by a double pilaster. On the long side, from where opened the doorways of the owner’s rooms, two columns supported the roof.

 

The covered walkways around the peristyle were divided from the corridor by a high parapet 0.90m high, 0.45m wide, rounded above, which united and reinforced the supports of the pilasters and columns. This wall had been plastered with lime and debris of bricks, then had been finely stuccoed and coloured black on all of the internal part. In the side opposite the entrance to the villa, and in front of the doorway to the wine-press (room P), the wall was interrupted which gave free passage to the wagons that carried the crops.

 

A part of the roof of the peristyle withstood the first onset of material erupting from Vesuvius, and then it was placed above the layer of lapilli. It was found intact, especially in the left corner responding to the area above the kitchen doorway. It was a simple construction and light, which only needed to support the weight of tiles and some roof-tiles.

 

Near the parapet on the longest side of the peristyle ran a masonry channel, elevated from the earth and plastered with debris of bricks and lime. It collected the rainwater from the roofs and led to a kind of quarter-circle basin with low plastered wall, and whose watertight bottom was crossed by a continuation of the channel. This basin collected the water from the short side of the peristyle that was in front of the entrance. The water from the basin went into a cistern dug at a depth of 7.50m, whch remained inside, i.e. on the corner of the portico, facing the kitchen door (room H). This cistern with cylindrical opening, opened in the guise of a large room, and was completely covered with hydraulic cement. Found in the middle of the long side of the peristyle was another masonry basin/tank, very deep, but all full of the remains of demolition from the building. It was not in use at the time of the catastrophe. Next to the puteal of the tank were two steps, which were used to be able to approach to a lead basin, which was used for the distribution of the water for the kitchen and baths; and between the same puteal and the parapet screen of the peristyle a rectangular basin was constructed, that originally was protected in the width of the wall with wooden planks, and perhaps used as a wash-tub.

 

Under the wings of the peristyle, were the household goods and objects that had been found in their place without suffering any effects from the catastrophe, with the exception of some tools that had stood on the furniture and had been thrown to the ground. In describing the objects discovered, we will point to the catalogue (See Pasqui A., La Villa Pompeiana della Pisanella presso Boscoreale, in Monumenti Antichi VII 1897, pp. 525-554) which enumerates the furnishings that were donated by Sig. Vincenzo De Prisco to the Pompeii Museum.

 

To the right of the entrance was a rectangular wooden box, not very large and perhaps simply closed with a fitted lid and moveable, as it was found without hinge or lock. It contained rough terracotta crockery and bronze vessels (no.157, fig.3, fig.4, nos.159, 160, fig.5, and no. 153). Also placed in a corner of the chest were some glass jars in a most common form. In the portico in two separate places were two heaps of large door handles (no.50), large hinges (no.47) and locks. These objects, even the way they were placed, appeared to have been moved from their proper place or never put into their place, but had only been provisionally placed there.

 

More towards the corner and in correspondence with the large wing (long portico), and near to the wall was a wooden cupboard, (1.70m high, 0.94m wide, 0.71m deep). The state of preservation allowed a plaster-cast impression to be made, which was made into the drawing (fig.6). It had been made from chestnut, from what could be judged from the impression of the nodes. It had a high fascia to the base, three frames to the body, and robust coverings to its sides, double doors revolving on bone hinges, and strong lock under the transverse fascia of the door on the right. At the top was the frame, but only some of it remained.

 

Villa della Pisanella, Boscoreale. Peristyle. Cast of wooden cupboard.
See Pasqui A., La Villa Pompeiana della Pisanella presso Boscoreale, in Monumenti Antichi VII 1897, p. 411-2, fig. 6.

Villa della Pisanella, Boscoreale. Peristyle. Cast of wooden cupboard.

See Pasqui A., La Villa Pompeiana della Pisanella presso Boscoreale, in Monumenti Antichi VII 1897, p. 411-2, fig. 6.

 

In the bottom of the cabinet, were placed the following objects of household furnishings –

a) two large glass bottles (no. 194) with bulging belly and neck, adorned in fusiform body with horizontal bands of scratching.

b) three bottles of the same shape, but smooth and smaller (nos. 195-197).

c) A clear glass cylindrical carafe (no. 193), with handle, and adorned with five bands of three deep furrows each.

d) Various rectangular bottles (nos. 225-227), very strong, with rounded upper body with cylindrical neck and side handle.

e) Four bowls, with building mark at the bottom (nos. 234-237). There were also found some clay pots of common forms and rough art, which are not taken into account.

On a shelf of the same cupboard, these other tools had been placed -

f) two large bronze vases-measures, one of which with decorated handle at the bottom by screw and leaf index lying within the mouth.

g) A great pure bronze vase (no. 165).

h) three common saucepans, (nos. 166-168), but with remains of silver plating inside.

i) A colum of metal sheet (no. 172) nicely punctuated with geometric design.

l) Some toilet utensils.

m) Finally some surgical tools, i.e. probes and lancets.

 

Found not far from the cupboard/closet, in the soil, was a bronze seal, in which the backwards wording was the name of Tiberio Claudio Anfione (no. 887) -

 

Villa della Pisanella, Boscoreale. Drawing of bronze seal, with the name of Tiberius Claudius Amphionis.
See Notizie degli Scavi di Antichità, 1895, p. 211.

Villa della Pisanella, Boscoreale. Drawing of bronze seal, with the name of Tiberius Claudius Amphionis.

See Notizie degli Scavi di Antichità, 1895, p. 211.

 

Villa della Pisanella, Boscoreale. Peristyle. Bronze seal, with the name of Tiberius Claudius Amphionis, found in a cupboard.
Now in Boscoreale Antiquarium.

Villa della Pisanella, Boscoreale. Peristyle. Bronze seal, with the name of Tiberius Claudius Amphionis, found in a cupboard.

Now in Boscoreale Antiquarium.

 

This discovery was already announced in the Notizie degli Scavi, 1895, p. 211. Next to it lay a bronze plate, and a large boiler/heater (no.149) with arched handle ending in a head of a swan. It was thought that these objects had fallen from the top of the closet.

 

On the corner of the atrium, to the left of the doorway that leads into room B, was another cabinet with bronze garnishings, i.e. handle, hinges and lock. It contained some glass vessels in the form of bowls (nos. 185, 186, 189), and bottles (nos. 212-218) as well as rough tableware and some painted bowls with marks (nos. 233-238).

 

A very large wooden chest occupied the opposite corner of the same doorway. It was faced with nailed iron and bronze plates, closed by a robust lock and with an external iron bolt (no. 94). It was found completely empty, which gave reason to suppose that it may have contained clothing, which over time had decomposed.

 

Another wooden box, but without metal reinforcements and lock, also totally empty, rested near to the last, towards a projecting corner of the long side of the portico.

 

In the middle of this long side of the portico, between the opening of the fauces (room E) and the doorway to the triclinium (room F), was another large cupboard leaning against the wall, with hinges, handle and bronze lock. No other objects were found, and perhaps this also contained clothing or linens.

 

A similar closet/cupboard occupied the wall between this last doorway and the other doorway of a cubiculum. It had no garnishings or lock, but only the bone hinges, which by their position had indicated two doors. Three shelves were recognised on which would have been placed the following objects, which were confusingly found at the foot of the same cupboard -

a) Bronze statuette representing a winged Eros. He was posed on a disc of a cover, which then fitted perfectly into the filler mouth of the bronze lantern which was discovered in a corner of the cubiculum, and reproduced in fig. 23.

 

Villa della Pisanella, Boscoreale. Peristyle. Bronze statuette of a winged Eros on the cover of a bronze lamp.
See Pasqui A., La Villa Pompeiana della Pisanella presso Boscoreale, in Monumenti Antichi VII 1897, fig. 23.

Villa della Pisanella, Boscoreale. Peristyle. Bronze statuette of a winged Eros on the cover of a bronze lamp.

See Pasqui A., La Villa Pompeiana della Pisanella presso Boscoreale, in Monumenti Antichi VII 1897, fig. 23.

 

b) Silver leaf mirror, decorated in the middle with bust of bacchante or Ariadne all in relief (Notizie degli Scavi, 1895, p. 213).

e) Other silver plate with head in relief showing a helmeted woman wearing armour. Here we would want to recognize the symbolic figure of the city of Alexandria

d) Various fragments of vases similar to previous ones.

e) Silver plate with traces of gilding, decorated in the middle with a manly head in relief. This was evidently a portrait.

f)  Female silver bust, damaged by the oxide, with rich, wavy hair around the forehead and the temples, shrouded in braids and tied at the nape of the neck (figs. 12 and 13). It was undoubtedly a portrait for the singularity of this hairstyle seemed to have belonged to portraits of Agrippina The shape of the bust, its edged cut is suitable for welding suggests that it had been applied in the middle of a silver patera.

See Pasqui A., La Villa Pompeiana della Pisanella presso Boscoreale, in Monumenti Antichi VII 1897, p. 419.

See Notizie degli Scavi di Antichità, 1895, p. 213.

 

Villa della Pisanella, Boscoreale. Female silver bust. Front view.
See Pasqui A., La Villa Pompeiana della Pisanella presso Boscoreale, in Monumenti Antichi VII 1897, p. 415 fig. 12.

Villa della Pisanella, Boscoreale. Female silver bust. Front view.

See Pasqui A., La Villa Pompeiana della Pisanella presso Boscoreale, in Monumenti Antichi VII 1897, p. 415 fig. 12.

 

Villa della Pisanella, Boscoreale. Female silver bust. Rear view of hair style tied at the nape of the neck.
See Pasqui A., La Villa Pompeiana della Pisanella presso Boscoreale, in Monumenti Antichi VII 1897, p. 415 fig. 13.

Villa della Pisanella, Boscoreale. Female silver bust. Rear view of hair style tied at the nape of the neck.

See Pasqui A., La Villa Pompeiana della Pisanella presso Boscoreale, in Monumenti Antichi VII 1897, p. 415 fig. 13.

 

Villa della Pisanella, Boscoreale. The emblema (decorative centre-piece) of a silver dish: bust of a woman, inscribed: "Maxima's". 
The dish was one of a pair, the other representing an elderly man.
© Trustees of the British Museum, inventory number BM 1895,0622.1.
Use under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0) license.

Villa della Pisanella, Boscoreale. The emblema (decorative centre-piece) of a silver dish: bust of a woman, inscribed: "Maxima's".

The dish was one of a pair, the other representing an elderly man.

© Trustees of the British Museum, inventory number BM 1895,0622.1.

Use under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0) license.

 

g)  An atramentarium (inkstand) in the form of a hollow bronze cylinder, furrowed externally with various bands (no.333).

h)  Usual jars as previous, but closed with hinged lid and fitted with three holes that apparently was to be used for powder (no. 334).

i)   A conical glass tumbler with walls crossed lengthwise.

l)   Blue glass in the form of a plate, supported on three twisted feet.

m) Several glass bottles with bulging bellies and thin neck (no. 198-200).

n)  Two fusiform bottles (no. 220, 221).

o)  Four bottles with spherical button (no. 207-210).

p)  Iridescent clear glass pot, without handle and graphite bands around the neck (no.192).

q)  Toilet utensils, namely: (no 362); (no. 365, 366); circular bronze mirror with handle turned to silver in the form of club, over which, in the junction of the disc is a lion skin; (no. 367).

r)   Some surgical instruments, namely probes and spatulas.

s)  Two bunches of iron keys, about forty, many of them very large (no. 105). They remained adhered, by the oxide, to the part that had been a closet shelf.

t)   Two iron swords, one with a wide blade with a large cross-handle, the other thin and round hilted (no. 409).

 

Near the threshold of the cubiculum, just above the cupboard described, the skeleton of a dog was recognised; and almost on top of this, as if it had fallen from the wall where perhaps it was hung, was a very robust glass vessel.

 

Towards the doorway that connected to the kitchen, and which was the last doorway on the long side of the portico, the skeleton of another dog was found; and there nearby the bones of two or three chickens. Turning into the short side of the atrium, i.e. along the dividing wall of the wine torcularium, leaning just on the corner, was a wooden cabinet with hinges of bone and bronze lock and handle. This did not contain anything other than a few surgical instruments, and (no. 341); spheroidal white and turquoise vitreous paste discs used for playing checkers (no. 382); a molten ivory (no. 325); bronze needles (no. 327); forks for nets (no. 328) and various other minor instruments from women’s work.

 

Almost leaning on the said wardrobe was an amphora of the most common type, on which writings could be read on the neck, as was reported in Notizie degli Scavi, 1895, p. 211:

 

G F SCOMBR

SCAVRI

EX· OFFICINA· SCAVRI

 

Found inside the basin or wash-tub , which was adhering to the puteal of the cistern, was a large bronze bucket, which was reinforced by sturdy iron bands, handled above and combined with long chain of iron (no. 140). Evidently it was used to draw water from the cistern. In the mouth of this were discovered some iron pieces that belonged to a small wooden hoist (girgillus) placed at the mouth of the same well. They consisted of wide rings, that would have been fixed in the jambs, or in the wooden pillow; within which turned smaller rings of the axle or windlass.

 

While in the wings of the portico you could say that everything was in its proper place, in the cavaedium (inner court) they were found outside their normal place, perhaps placed here momentarily, then to be moved elsewhere later. Leaning against the pillar of the short wing of the entrance were two stones with large rectangular holes, identical to those that beautify the apertures where the stipites and the arbores of wood of the torcularium were inserted; in contrast to them, towards the middle column of the other short wing, were two wheels (orbes) from the trapetum (no. 324), in vesuvian lava, intact and traces of wooden hubs lined internally with a large iron ring, between which turned the long lever (cupa). These could have belonged to the machine to break the olives (trapetum), which was located in the rustic part of the villa.

 

Laid in the middle of the area that constituted the inner courtyard, laid against each other were two large bathtubs, made from sturdy sheet of bronze, in one piece. The biggest was 1.75 m long, with a wide flat rim, conical body, adorned with four large leonine masks, from which fell great swivel rings (fig. 16); the other a little smaller, but similar in shape, was devoid of ornament (fig. 17).

 

Villa della Pisanella, Boscoreale. Bathtub with four leonine swivel rings.
See Pasqui A., La Villa Pompeiana della Pisanella presso Boscoreale, in Monumenti Antichi VII 1897, p. 421 fig. 16.

Villa della Pisanella, Boscoreale. Bathtub with four leonine swivel rings.

See Pasqui A., La Villa Pompeiana della Pisanella presso Boscoreale, in Monumenti Antichi VII 1897, p. 421 fig. 16.

 

Villa della Pisanella, Boscoreale. Smaller bathtub of similar shape but devoid of ornament.
See Pasqui A., La Villa Pompeiana della Pisanella presso Boscoreale, in Monumenti Antichi VII 1897, p. 421 fig. 17.

Villa della Pisanella, Boscoreale. Smaller bathtub of similar shape but devoid of ornament.

See Pasqui A., La Villa Pompeiana della Pisanella presso Boscoreale, in Monumenti Antichi VII 1897, p. 421 fig. 17.

 

Found near the wall which was common with the cella vinaria, in good order were many pieces of terracotta roof gutters (gronda). Some of them, the largest (no. 25), were decorated on the front with spiral embossing and fitted in the middle with water nozzle consisting of a wide inverted leaf, over which laid in high relief the front of a lion, (fig. 18).

Others, and they were in a smaller number, had a large lion mask in the middle (no. 28). Others (no. 29) were also decorated with spiral and small palm trees, and the mouth for the water was represented by a smaller lion's head than the preceeding specimens (fig. 19).

 

Villa della Pisanella, Boscoreale. Terracotta roof gutters (gronda) with water nozzle consisting of a wide inverted leaf, over which in high relief is the front of a lion.
See Pasqui A., La Villa Pompeiana della Pisanella presso Boscoreale, in Monumenti Antichi VII 1897, p. 423 fig. 18.

Villa della Pisanella, Boscoreale. Terracotta roof gutters (gronda) with water nozzle consisting of a wide inverted leaf, over which in high relief is the front of a lion.

See Pasqui A., La Villa Pompeiana della Pisanella presso Boscoreale, in Monumenti Antichi VII 1897, p. 423 fig. 18.

 

Villa della Pisanella, Boscoreale. Terracotta decorated roof gutter (gronda) with the central mouth of a smaller lion's head.
See Pasqui A., La Villa Pompeiana della Pisanella presso Boscoreale, in Monumenti Antichi VII 1897, p. 425 fig. 19.

Villa della Pisanella, Boscoreale. Terracotta decorated roof gutter (gronda) with the central mouth of a smaller lion's head.

See Pasqui A., La Villa Pompeiana della Pisanella presso Boscoreale, in Monumenti Antichi VII 1897, p. 425 fig. 19.

 

Yet others (no. 30) were decorated with cornices, and covered in white smoothed plaster; in the middle they had a comic mask (fig. 20).

With the described pieces were stacked, and in good order, many large earthenware jars/tiles or fallen-down tiles (no. 27), which were used to cover the high edges in the joints of described gutters (grondaie) above; also some palm trees in bas-relief and perforated (no. 26), which were placed by means of a groove into a hole in the top of the said reverse, and crowned this sort of gutter (gronda), as is seen in fig. 18.

 

Villa della Pisanella, Boscoreale. Terracotta decorated roof gutter (gronda) with comic mask.
See Pasqui A., La Villa Pompeiana della Pisanella presso Boscoreale, in Monumenti Antichi VII 1897, p. 425 fig. 20.

Villa della Pisanella, Boscoreale. Terracotta decorated roof gutter (gronda) with comic mask.

See Pasqui A., La Villa Pompeiana della Pisanella presso Boscoreale, in Monumenti Antichi VII 1897, p. 425 fig. 20.

 

Together with these ornaments, were many muddled rectangular tiles of large dimensions, open in the middle with large square or oval hole over which should rest a hood (nos. 33, 34). And, always stacked in good order, the simple tiles with various trademarks (nos. 36-40), that were along the dividing wall of the cella and in considerable quantity, between them were singularly those that carried the imprinted stamp with oscan letters (no. 42):

 

Villa della Pisanella, Boscoreale. Oscan tile stamp.

See Pasqui A., La Villa Pompeiana della Pisanella presso Boscoreale, in Monumenti Antichi VII 1897, p. 425 fig. 20.

 

These decorations and these materials could not have belonged to the villa of which we speak, if we consider the place where they were deposited, their variety, the remains of lime, that proved they had been previously used on another site. In addition, the erosion caused by water and the lack of some prominent parts, such as the paws of the lions in the first examples of mentioned gutter-pipes (grondaie) (fig. l8). It is more likely that all of this material had been provisionally placed here to then be adapted into another building.

 

 

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Ultimo aggiornamento - Last updated: 23-Jan-2020 17:04