Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Raw clay pots from Pompeii workshop found

Archaeologists say they have found the remains of dozens of pieces of pottery in their raw clay form in what was once a ceramics workshop near ancient Pompeii's Herculaneum gate. 

Raw clay pots from Pompeii workshop found

The vessels, sealed under ash from the fiery eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD, have been catalogued for study by scholars interested in the daily life of Pompeii, including numerous artisanal workshops. 

The office of Italy's superintendent of archaeology is working on the project in collaboration with scholars at the Centre Jean Bérard and École Française de Rome. 

The find has been called "surprising" and provides more insights into daily life in the city of Pompeii just before disaster struck, preserving the entire ancient city in ash. 

The clay vessels, which were to be used as drink or food containers, are the result of work just outside the ancient city walls near the Herculaneum gate where it is believed workshops and even cemeteries were located. 

The furnace was discovered in 1838 and the space nearby is believed to be a working room for creating pottery and described as important to the understanding of ceramic techniques of the period. 

In a separate workshop, two furnaces were found and are also thought to have been used for producing fine ceramics with thin surfaces. 

Read more at: The Archaeology News Network

See  The workshop on pompeiiinpictures

Friday, 24 October 2014

Save the Swedish Institutes in the Mediterranean

Worrying news from Sweden: the Institutes around Mediterranean are in danger.

Swedish Institute at Athens announces:
"The Swedish government has proposed that the budget for the Mediterranean institutes (Athens, Istanbul, Rome) should be cut with more than half in 2016 and with 100% in 2017. This means that there will be no institutes. A petition could be signed at"

Here is the petition text in English:
Dear government,

The signers of this petition strongly disagree with the suggestion in this year’s budget bill to cut funding for the Swedish Institutes in the Mediterranean, and in the coming year completely abandon the financial support. This decision reflects a lack of investigation on the government’s part, and this decision can have devastating effects.

The Institutes provides an invaluable contribution to research, education and cultural exchange, all happening on a minute budget. They promote cross-disciplinary cooperation, mobility, internationalization, and the application of funds and excellence. The Institutes also contribute to the overall quality of many university disciplines in Sweden. They, moreover, function as a place for intercultural meetings, national centers and fora for courses, conferences, seminars and provide excellent resources for both small and large educational establishments. The institutes have a strong brand and are internationally known and respected research centres. To cut their funding would be a grave mistake.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Museum of Ancient Paintings, Portici

We stumbled across this painting and thought we would share it with you all.

The Portici museum must have been a sight to see, if all those paintings were on display as shown.

That is assuming you could get a "permesso" to enter.

The painting is titled:
Museum of Ancient Paintings, Palais of Portici Naples. 
It is a painting by Thomas Rowlandson c 1800.
The Victoria and Albert Museum describe it as:
A satirical watercolour showing a woman with three young men looking at wall frescoes.
Two older men stand behind the group.
Rowlandson shows a woman admiring a display of risqué Roman fresco paintings while the men surrounding her all look lecherously at her. 
The crux of the satire is whether their visit is a cultural or erotic pastime.

Photo © Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Museum inventory number DYCE.799.

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