The Venus Pompeiana Project (VPP) is a new archaeological and architectural research programme launched with the aim of reaching firmer conclusions on the chronology, development, and nature of the occupation of the Sanctuary of Venus. Special attention is paid to the structures discovered below the temple triporticus, which were partially explored during the investigations carried out by Emmanuele Curti of the Scuola di Specializzazione in Archeologia di Matera between 2004 and 2007.
New stratigraphic research has been launched in the east sector of the temple court, reopening a trench from 2006-2007 and extending it across the and the east portico to map the continuation of previously discovered structures. The initial results have been integrated with both the data from the 2015-2016 Pompeii per tutti project (Soprintendenza Pompei) and the reanalysis of the topographical data from the 2004-2007 campaigns, thus providing new evidence on the spatial organization of the site in the pre-Roman phase and on the date of the first monumental temple complex.
In particular, a sidewalk feature discovered below the level of the sanctuary’s eastern courtyard suggests the existence of a side street branching off from Via Marina and continuing in a southerly direction. This alley plausibly demarcated two separate city-blocks in use during the 2nd century BC. The area to the east of the street was occupied by what Curti described as a courtyard building, a complex that most likely continued under the Vicolo di Championnet and the Basilica. Detailed layout and function of this building have yet to be clarified through further investigations.
Ceramic and coin evidence suggests a post-Sullan date for the completion of the triporticus and, presumably, of the podium temple. The construction of the sanctuary brought with it a major reorganization of the site: the sacred area was expanded beyond the previous limits: Via Marina was narrowed to accommodate the north wing of the portico, while the pre-existing N-S street was obliterated to make room for the east wing.
Further archaeological investigations and analysis are planned for 2018 in order to reveal the nature and precise chronology of the buildings discovered below the sanctuary structures, and to clarify the relationship existing between the sanctuary of Venus and adjacent areas and monuments, such as the Vicolo di Championnet.
- Ilaria Battiloro - Mount Allison University
- Marcello Mogetta- University of Missouri
- Laura D’Esposito - Parco Archeologico di Pompei
- Ivan Varriale
- Mariangela Pignataro
- Daniel Diffendale - University of Michigan
- Carlo Monda
- Massimo Barretta
- Giacomo Pardini
- Matthew C. Harder - University of Missouri
- Mount Allison University
- University of Missouri
- Crake Foundation
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