Carpenter’s Tools Discovered in Servant Quarters of Civita Giuliana Villa

Carpenter's Tools Discovered in Servant Quarters of Civita Giuliana Villa

The latest discovery in the servant quarters of the Civita Giuliana villa, which has been under scientific investigation since 2017, has unveiled a remarkably preserved environment. This investigation was initiated after the villa was rescued from illegal excavators through a collaboration between Pompeii Archaeological Park and the Public Prosecutor’s Office of Torre Annunziata. The newly discovered room joins others in the same area that revealed the well-preserved beds of slaves, providing a fascinating glimpse into the life of the ancient Roman underclass.

Extraordinary Preservation Techniques

The villa’s excavation has utilized the plaster casting technique, systematically practiced since 1863. This technique, unique to Pompeii, captures the negative imprints left by organic materials such as wood, fabric, and ropes, which decomposed under layers of volcanic ash. When filled with plaster, these voids reveal the original shapes, offering an exceptional window into the past. This method has produced extraordinary results, including casts of two victims, a horse, and the humble beds in the servant quarters.

A Glimpse into the Past

The newly discovered room expands our understanding of the everyday lives of those seldom mentioned in literary sources. This room contains a bed, work tools, and what appears to be a dismantled frame, possibly from another bed. Among the items identified are baskets, a long rope, pieces of wood, and a saw blade, strikingly similar to traditional saws used until recently. A piece of rope, preserved as an impression in the soil, was also found, which once held the bed frame under tension.

Ongoing Excavation Efforts

While the current excavation funding is nearing its end, the Archaeological Park and the Public Prosecutor’s Office have announced plans to continue their investigations. They aim to utilize funds allocated for excavation campaigns under the Budget Law by the Minister of Culture, Gennaro Sangiuliano.

Minister Sangiuliano emphasized the importance of these ongoing excavations, stating, “The continuous discoveries about the daily lives of ancient Romans made possible by scientific investigations at the Civita Giuliana villa near the Pompeii Archaeological Park strengthen our resolve to continue funding excavation activities. The newly uncovered environments and the recent findings provide valuable insights into the past of a great civilization and honor the professionalism of the archaeological research that has returned to active life in Pompeii. I thank the Public Prosecutor’s Office of Torre Annunziata for their collaboration, which has preserved the Civita Giuliana Villa from the criminal activities of art traffickers and enabled a research path capable of these significant results.”

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Picture of Vito Minopoli

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