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Herculaneum. Villa dei Papiri or Villa of the Papyri or Villa dei Pisoni.

Part 4. Monumental structure  

 

The complex and atrium      Lower levels      Reconstructions, the Getty Villa and the Jashemskis      Monumental structure      Baths      House of the Dionysiac Reliefs and pavilion      Sculptures      Frescoes      Plan

 

Villa dei Papiri, Herculaneum. July 2010. 
Looking north-west towards area of collapsed “large or monumental structure”, possibly coinciding with the western entrance of the villa overlooking the sea.  Photo courtesy of Michael Binns.
At the front of the structure is a rectangular pool parallel to the ancient coastline (the white shadowed area at the front centre in this photo).
A room of uncertain function juts out along the side of the pool. To the side of this room is a small stairway and ramp leading to the ancient beach.
See Guidobaldi, M. P. The Ivory Tripods. (p.114-5 of Buried by Vesuvius, the Villa dei Papiri at Herculaneum, edited by Kenneth Lapatin).
According to Camardo –
“The most important achievement of the open-air excavation (of 1996) was the discovery of the monumental structure with the same orientation as the Villa but situated on a large terrace some ten metres below its piano nobile, and jutting out noticeably farther towards the sea. 
This was only partially unearthed because it had completely collapsed under the weight of the pyroclastic debris that had buried it. 
The collapsed part was recovered whole, since the structure had not been cut into by the Bourbon-era tunnels. 
A monumental hall (see fig. d in plan (14.1) on p.114) is fairly well preserved: a series of brick pilasters covered in stucco supported a set of large wooden beams with a flat ceiling in opus signinum (tiny broken tiles mixed with mortar). 
A white marble threshold graced the broad entrance of the seaward side of the building.”
See Camardo, D. Recent excavations in the Villa dei Papiri 1990’s – 2008. (p.105-113 of Buried by Vesuvius, the Villa dei Papiri at Herculaneum, edited by Kenneth Lapatin).

Villa dei Papiri, Herculaneum. July 2010.

Looking north-west towards area of collapsed “large or monumental structure”, possibly coinciding with the western entrance of the villa overlooking the sea.  Photo courtesy of Michael Binns.

At the front of the structure is a rectangular pool parallel to the ancient coastline (the white shadowed area at the front centre in this photo).

A room of uncertain function juts out along the side of the pool. To the side of this room is a small stairway and ramp leading to the ancient beach.

See Guidobaldi, M. P. The Ivory Tripods. (p.114-5 of Buried by Vesuvius, the Villa dei Papiri at Herculaneum, edited by Kenneth Lapatin).

According to Camardo –

“The most important achievement of the open-air excavation (of 1996) was the discovery of the monumental structure with the same orientation as the Villa but situated on a large terrace some ten metres below its piano nobile, and jutting out noticeably farther towards the sea.

This was only partially unearthed because it had completely collapsed under the weight of the pyroclastic debris that had buried it.

The collapsed part was recovered whole, since the structure had not been cut into by the Bourbon-era tunnels.

A monumental hall (see fig. d in plan (14.1) on p.114) is fairly well preserved: a series of brick pilasters covered in stucco supported a set of large wooden beams with a flat ceiling in opus signinum (tiny broken tiles mixed with mortar).

A white marble threshold graced the broad entrance of the seaward side of the building.”

See Camardo, D. Recent excavations in the Villa dei Papiri 1990’s – 2008. (p.105-113 of Buried by Vesuvius, the Villa dei Papiri at Herculaneum, edited by Kenneth Lapatin).

 

Villa dei Papiri, Herculaneum. June 2012. Collapsed monumental structure, looking west. Photo courtesy of Michael Binns.

Villa dei Papiri, Herculaneum. June 2012. Collapsed monumental structure, looking west. Photo courtesy of Michael Binns.

 

Villa dei Papiri, Herculaneum. July 2004. Collapsed monumental structure, looking north.
Photo courtesy of Jennifer Stephens. ©jfsPAP0676

Villa dei Papiri, Herculaneum. July 2004. Collapsed monumental structure, looking north.

Photo courtesy of Jennifer Stephens. ©jfsPAP0676

 

Villa dei Papiri, Herculaneum. June 2012. Looking west towards area of collapsed “monumental structure”,
Photo courtesy of Michael Binns.
According to Guidobaldi, found, at a much lower level than the noble floor of the villa and in a position nearer to the sea and lapped by it in the Roman age, was a collapsed structure, still to be excavated and which could coincide with the entrance to the villa from the sea. The structures now identified and detected include a terrace paved in cocciopesto and with steps down to the beach, on which opens a large quadrangular room, punctuated by large openings on all sides and decorated inside by precious sculptures (A beautiful copy of the Amazon of Polykleitos and a draped female statue that echoes models that can be traced back to the classical age of Agoracritus sculptures).

Le strutture per ora individuate e rilevate comprendono una terrazza pavimentata in cocciopesto e con scaletta di discesa alla spiaggia, su cui si apre una grande sala quadrangolare, scandita da grandi aperture su tutti i lati e decorata al suo interno da pregiate sculture (una bella copia dell’ Amazzone di Policleto e una statua femminile panneggiata che riecheggia modelli riconducibili allo sculture di età classica Agoracrito).

See Guidobaldi, M. P., 2006. Ercolano: guida agli scavi. Electa Napoli, (p.129).

Villa dei Papiri, Herculaneum. June 2012.

Looking west towards area of collapsed “monumental structure”. Photo courtesy of Michael Binns.

According to Guidobaldi, found, at a much lower level than the noble floor of the villa and in a position nearer to the sea and lapped by it in the Roman age, was a collapsed structure, still to be excavated and which could coincide with the entrance to the villa from the sea. The structures now identified and detected include a terrace paved in cocciopesto and with steps down to the beach, on which opens a large quadrangular room, punctuated by large openings on all sides and decorated inside by precious sculptures - a beautiful copy of the Amazon of Polykleitos and a draped female statue that echoes models that can be traced back to the classical age of Agoracritus sculptures.

 

Le strutture per ora individuate e rilevate comprendono una terrazza pavimentata in cocciopesto e con scaletta di discesa alla spiaggia, su cui si apre una grande sala quadrangolare, scandita da grandi aperture su tutti i lati e decorata al suo interno da pregiate sculture (una bella copia dell’ Amazzone di Policleto e una statua femminile panneggiata che riecheggia modelli riconducibili allo sculture di età classica Agoracrito).

 

See Guidobaldi, M. P., 2006. Ercolano: guida agli scavi. Electa Napoli, (p.129).

 

According to Camardo –

“The internal west and south corners of the hall featured two quadrangular brick bases, part of whose marble revetment remained.

These bases were designed to display statues, as was proven by the recovery, near the southern base, of a white marble head of an Amazon (cat. 43, and see below), whose body was not found.

The western base may have supported a splendid marble statue of a peplophoros, a young woman wearing an elegant dress with long folds (cat.42, and see below); 1.88 metres in height, the figure probably represents Hera or Demeter.

It was reassembled from numerous fragments through careful restoration.”

See Camardo, D. Recent excavations in the Villa dei Papiri 1990’s – 2008. (p.105-113 of Buried by Vesuvius, the Villa dei Papiri at Herculaneum, edited by Kenneth Lapatin).

 

Villa dei Papiri, Herculaneum. Head of an Amazon, found on 28th April 1997, in the collapsed monumental structure.

Villa dei Papiri, Herculaneum. Head of an Amazon, found on 28th April 1997, in the collapsed monumental structure.

 

Villa dei Papiri, Herculaneum. October 2020. 
Statue of Peplophoros/Demeter found in area of collapsed “monumental structure”.
Now in Antiquarium. Herculaneum inventory number 81595. Photo courtesy of Klaus Heese.

Villa dei Papiri, Herculaneum. October 2020.

Statue of Peplophoros/Demeter found in area of collapsed “monumental structure”.

Found on April 21st 1997, in the monumental structure, near the base on which the statue originally stood, near the west corner of the seaside pavilion.

Now in Antiquarium. Herculaneum inventory number 81595. Photo courtesy of Klaus Heese.

 

Villa dei Papiri, Herculaneum. March 2014. Peplophoros/Demeter statue found in area of collapsed “monumental structure”.
The statue is of white marble and shows numerous traces of its original polychromy.
Herculaneum inventory number 81595.
See Guidobaldi, M.P. and Esposito D., 2013. Herculaneum: Art of a Buried City. New York: Abbeville Press, p. 98, fig. 80.
Photo © Carlo Raso.

Villa dei Papiri, Herculaneum. March 2014.

Peplophoros/Demeter statue found in area of collapsed “monumental structure”.

The statue is of white marble and shows numerous traces of its original polychromy.

Herculaneum inventory number 81595.

See Guidobaldi, M.P. and Esposito D., 2013. Herculaneum: Art of a Buried City. New York: Abbeville Press, p. 98, fig. 80.

Photo © Carlo Raso.

 

Villa dei Papiri, Herculaneum. March 2014. Peplophoros/Demeter statue found in area of collapsed “monumental structure”.
Herculaneum inventory number 81595.
Photo © Carlo Raso.

Villa dei Papiri, Herculaneum. March 2014.

Peplophoros/Demeter statue found in area of collapsed “monumental structure”.

Herculaneum inventory number 81595.

Photo © Carlo Raso.

 

Villa dei Papiri, Herculaneum. June 2012. Remains of collapsed monumental structure.
Photo courtesy of Michael Binns.

Villa dei Papiri, Herculaneum. June 2012. Remains of collapsed monumental structure. Photo courtesy of Michael Binns.

According to Camardo –

“In 2008, an excavation was also conducted on the broad terrace where the collapsed monumental hall, discovered in 1997, had formerly stood.

The clean-up of the collapse revealed that the hall’s façade measured 10.8 metres andprovided for a largecentral opening of 6.6 metres, while the side walls featured windows framed by pilasters. A number of wooden beams, architraves, and window frames are still visible.

A height of about 8 metres can be surmised for the building itself.”

See Camardo, D. Recent excavations in the Villa dei Papiri 1990’s – 2008. (p.105-113 of Buried by Vesuvius, the Villa dei Papiri at Herculaneum, edited by Kenneth Lapatin).

 

Villa dei Papiri, Herculaneum. July 2010. Remains of collapsed monumental structure.
Photo courtesy of Michael Binns.

Villa dei Papiri, Herculaneum. July 2010. Remains of collapsed monumental structure. Photo courtesy of Michael Binns.

 

Villa dei Papiri, Herculaneum. June 2012. Remains of collapsed monumental structure.
Photo courtesy of Michael Binns.

Villa dei Papiri, Herculaneum. June 2012. Remains of collapsed monumental structure. Photo courtesy of Michael Binns.

 

Villa dei Papiri, Herculaneum. July 2010. Looking along part of the monumental structure.
Photo courtesy of Michael Binns.

Villa dei Papiri, Herculaneum. July 2010. Looking along part of the monumental structure. Photo courtesy of Michael Binns.

 

Villa dei Papiri, Herculaneum. July 2010. Part of the monumental structure.
Photo courtesy of Michael Binns.

Villa dei Papiri, Herculaneum. July 2010. Part of the monumental structure. Photo courtesy of Michael Binns.

 

Villa dei Papiri, Herculaneum. July 2010. 
Looking east along part of the monumental structure/hall, on left, with area of pool, on right. Photo courtesy of Michael Binns.

Villa dei Papiri, Herculaneum. July 2010.

Looking east along part of the monumental structure/hall, on left, with area of pool, on right. Photo courtesy of Michael Binns.

 

Villa dei Papiri, Herculaneum. July 2010. 
Looking east along the large pool parallel to the coastline, towards the area of the small room with stairs and ramp providing access to the beach approximately six metres below.  Photo courtesy of Michael Binns.

Villa dei Papiri, Herculaneum. July 2010.

Looking east along the large pool parallel to the coastline, towards the area of the small room with stairs and ramp providing access to the beach approximately six metres below.  Photo courtesy of Michael Binns.

According to Camardo –

“At the edge of the terrace, the 1997 excavations had brought to light traces of two steps that were interpreted as the beginning of a monumental staircase linking the Villa with a dock.

A test conducted in 2008 in the same area did not confirm the presence of that stairway, but instead revealed the border of a monumental pool, more than eighteen metres long, five metres wide, and some two metres deep, its walls covered in light pink hydraulic mortar.

At the back of the northern wall of the pool, the first two steps of a masonry stairway, allowing entry into the pool, have been identified.

Another small set of stairs, south of the pool, provided access to the beach, about six metres below.”

See Camardo, D. Recent excavations in the Villa dei Papiri 1990’s – 2008. (p.105-113 of Buried by Vesuvius, the Villa dei Papiri at Herculaneum, edited by Kenneth Lapatin).

 

Villa dei Papiri, Herculaneum. July 2004. A piece of carbonised wood.
Photo courtesy of Jennifer Stephens.©jfsPAP0679

Villa dei Papiri, Herculaneum. July 2004. A piece of carbonised wood.

Photo courtesy of Jennifer Stephens. ©jfsPAP0679

 

 

The complex and atrium      Lower levels      Reconstructions, the Getty Villa and the Jashemskis      Monumental structure      Baths      House of the Dionysiac Reliefs and pavilion      Sculptures      Frescoes      Plan

 

 

 

 

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Ultimo aggiornamento - Last updated: 29-Oct-2021 22:50