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SG4 Pompeii. Tombs at Stabian Gate or Porta Stabia.

Unnamed altar style tomb. Excavated 2001-2. Restored 2018.

 

Bibliography

 

D’Ambrosio A., 2001-2. Rivista di Studi Pompeiani XII-XIII, p. 220 fig. 1.

D’Ambrosio A., 2003. Rivista di Studi Pompeiani XIV, p. 287.

Campbell V. L., 2014. The Tombs of Pompeii: Organization, Space, and Society. Routledge: Abingdon UK, p. 303-4.

Emmerson A., 2010. Reconstructing the Funerary Landscape at Pompeii's Porta Stabia: Rivista di Studi Pompeiani 21, pp. 80-81.

Parco Archeologico di Pompei: the-tombs-of-the-necropolis-of-porta-stabia

VesuvioLive.it

 

Tomb discovery

During work intended to turn the gate into a new tourist entrance, two tombs were uncovered beyond the scholae to Marcus Tullius and Marcus Alleius Minius.

It was expected that the excavation, started in the summer of 2001, would bring to light a further stretch of the road that leaves Porta Stabia and perhaps the intersection with the via pomeriale along which excavations made in the mid-1800s identified funerary monuments.

A first result in this sense was achieved.

It was, in fact, the continuation of the Via Stabiana out from the city.

It was lined with a wall, with a top capping, in a careful opus reticulatum work, dressed in white plaster, largely preserved.

About 60 metres from the gate two tombs were found.

Both tombs had been heavily damaged by modern building activity prior to their excavation, but they appear originally to have been podia with interior burial chambers, likely topped by altars.

See D’Ambrosio A., 2001-2. Rivista di Studi Pompeiani XII-XIII, p. 220 fig. 1

See D’Ambrosio A., 2003. Rivista di Studi Pompeiani XIV, p. 287.

 

Tomb features

The northernmost tomb [SG4], is in far worse condition then the southernmost tomb, and like that tomb is also entered from the south, and also features a vaulted chamber with niches, although the cinerary urns found here were placed instead on low masonry benches that lined the walls.

The reports do not mention any columelle found associated with the tombs.

See Emmerson A., 2010. Reconstructing the Funerary Landscape at Pompeii's Porta Stabia: Rivista di Studi Pompeiani 21, pp. 80-81.

 

2018 restoration

In 2018 the tombs SG4 and SG5 were restored and the entrances are fitted with clear panels to allow internal viewing.

The removal of the thick deposit layer from the road revealed an unfinished sub-square masonry structure to the south of Tomb SG4, a possible third tomb.

This likely third tomb was unfinished following the abandonment of the site, as the tuff and lava blocks which were discovered in the immediate vicinity and appeared ready to be used in construction would indicate, along with a pile of lava and small block chips.

The paved road was in fact completely covered with a thick layer of alluvial accumulation that has returned a large number of ceramic artefacts, glass unguentaria and “pedine” (gaming pieces) but also a gold ring with two snake heads facing and with eyes in glass paste.

See http://pompeiisites.org/en/comunicati/the-tombs-of-the-necropolis-of-porta-stabia/

 

SG4 Pompeii. 2015. Location of tombs SG4 and SG5 (centre of photo) south of Porta Stabia.
Photo courtesy of Google Earth.

SG4 Pompeii. 2015. Location of tombs SG4 and SG5 (centre of photo) south of Porta Stabia.

Photo courtesy of Google Earth.

 

SG4 and SG5 Pompeii. 2018, after restoration. 
These are two chamber tombs excavated in 2001 and located in an area bound by a pavement and a small plaster coated opus reticulatum wall.
Unusually the tombs appear to be placed in the middle of the road.

SG4 and SG5 Pompeii. 2018, after restoration.

These are two chamber tombs excavated in 2001 and located in an area bound by a pavement and a small plaster coated opus reticulatum wall.

Unusually the tombs appear to be placed in the middle of the road.

The road paving was entirely covered in a thick layer of alluvial deposits.

The removal of this deposit layer revealed an unfinished sub-square masonry structure to the south of Tomb SG4.

These likely relate to a third tomb, which was unfinished following the abandonment of the site, as the tuff and lava blocks which were discovered in the immediate vicinity and appeared ready to be used in construction would indicate, along with a pile of lava and small block chips.

See http://pompeiisites.org/en/comunicati/the-tombs-of-the-necropolis-of-porta-stabia/

 

SG4 Pompeii. 2002. Tomb SG4 with tomb SG5 at rear.
The superstructure of the tomb was so badly damaged that it has been boxed into a wooden frame and covered with scaffolding.
The tomb chamber is not accessible as a result.
See Campbell V.L., 2014. The Tombs of Pompeii: Organization, Space, and Society. Routledge: Abingdon UK, p. 303-4.

SG4 Pompeii. 2002. Tomb SG4 with tomb SG5 at rear.

The superstructure of the tomb was so badly damaged that it has been boxed into a wooden frame and covered with scaffolding.

The tomb chamber is not accessible as a result.

See Campbell V.L., 2014. The Tombs of Pompeii: Organization, Space, and Society. Routledge: Abingdon UK, p. 303-4.

 

SG4 (front) and SG5 (rear) Pompeii. 2018, after restoration. Sides facing north towards the Stabian Gate.

SG4 (front) and SG5 (rear) Pompeii. 2018, after restoration. Sides facing north towards the Stabian Gate.

 

SG4 Pompeii. 2018, after restoration. Side facing south away from the Stabian Gate.
The tomb, which is rectangular in shape, is formed of two rows of white limestone parallelepiped blocks; the tomb was probably crowned with an altar shaped element. 
On three sides the plastered interior has rectangular niches, while the fourth includes the access to the chamber. At the time of the restoration work inside the burial chamber - which was in a poor state of conservation - it was revealed that only four of the nine clay urns fixed into the two raised areas along the sides of the chamber had previously been emptied, probably during the nineteenth century explorations, which brought about the destruction of the limestone coating of the upper part of the tomb and the removal of the glass urns in the niches. 
Of the 5 urns which had not been previously emptied, two revealed the ashes of the deceased, while another two contained the remains of the ustrinum (funeral pyre), such as glass unguentaria deformed by the heat, and in one case a coin placed as a Charon’s obol (fee/bribe for ferrying). Some urns retain their lids in the closed position but inverted. 
A clay conduit was discovered on the cocciopesto floor, for the libations in honour of the deceased which took place during the various festivities; the conduit was closed by a marble element.
See http://pompeiisites.org/en/comunicati/the-tombs-of-the-necropolis-of-porta-stabia/

SG4 Pompeii. 2018, after restoration. Side facing south away from the Stabian Gate.

The tomb, which is rectangular in shape, is formed of two rows of white limestone parallelepiped blocks; the tomb was probably crowned with an altar shaped element.

On three sides the plastered interior has rectangular niches, while the fourth includes the access to the chamber.

At the time of the restoration work inside the burial chamber - which was in a poor state of conservation - it was revealed that only four of the nine clay urns fixed into the two raised areas along the sides of the chamber had previously been emptied, probably during the nineteenth century explorations, which brought about the destruction of the limestone coating of the upper part of the tomb and the removal of the glass urns in the niches.

Of the 5 urns which had not been previously emptied, two revealed the ashes of the deceased, while another two contained the remains of the ustrinum (funeral pyre), such as glass unguentaria deformed by the heat, and in one case a coin placed as a Charon’s obol (fee/bribe for ferrying).

Some urns retain their lids in the closed position but inverted.

A clay conduit was discovered on the cocciopesto floor, for the libations in honour of the deceased which took place during the various festivities; the conduit was closed by a marble element.

See http://pompeiisites.org/en/comunicati/the-tombs-of-the-necropolis-of-porta-stabia/

 

SG4 and SG5 Pompeii. 2018. Sub-square masonry structure, possible third tomb? 
The removal of the thick deposit layer from the road revealed an unfinished sub-square masonry structure to the south of Tomb SG4. 
These pieces of evidence likely relate to a third tomb, which was unfinished following the abandonment of the site, as the tuff and lava blocks which were discovered in the immediate vicinity and appeared ready to be used in construction would indicate, along with a pile of lava and small block chips.
See http://pompeiisites.org/en/comunicati/the-tombs-of-the-necropolis-of-porta-stabia/

SG4 and SG5 Pompeii. 2018. Sub-square masonry structure, possible third tomb?

The removal of the thick deposit layer from the road revealed an unfinished sub-square masonry structure to the south of Tomb SG4.

These pieces of evidence likely relate to a third tomb, which was unfinished following the abandonment of the site, as the tuff and lava blocks which were discovered in the immediate vicinity and appeared ready to be used in construction would indicate, along with a pile of lava and small block chips.

See http://pompeiisites.org/en/comunicati/the-tombs-of-the-necropolis-of-porta-stabia/

 

SG4 Pompeii. 2015. Tombs SG4 and SG5, with roofing and scaffolding, with Porta Stabia in the background.

SG4 Pompeii. 2015. Tombs SG4 and SG5, with roofing and scaffolding, with Porta Stabia in the background.

 

SG4 Pompeii. 2018. Tomb SG4 at rear and tomb SG5 at front, with Porta Stabia in the background.

SG4 Pompeii. 2018. Tomb SG4 at rear and tomb SG5 at front, with Porta Stabia in the background.

 

SG4 Pompeii. 2001. Tomb SG4 at rear and tomb SG5 at front, with Porta Stabia in the background.
According to Campbell, the tomb has a nearly square podium base constructed of a single course of limestone blocks, 0.71 metres high.
This is on top of a moulded base with lava superstructure that bears some resemblance to the stepped format of an altar tomb.
It was found to be heavily damaged on excavation.
There was a vaulted chamber with two small stone benches at base of walls that contain niches with funerary urns.
There were traces of simple painted decoration on stucco on vault.
The construction type, the stepped nature of the superstructure suggests an altar tomb of mid to late 1st century AD.
See Campbell V.L., 2014. The Tombs of Pompeii: Organization, Space, and Society. Routledge: Abingdon UK, p. 303-4.

The continuation of the Via Stabiana out from the city was lined with a wall, with a top capping, in a careful opus reticulatum work, dressed in white plaster, largely preserved.
On the left in the photo is the wall in opus incertum lining the road.
See D’Ambrosio A., 2001-2. Rivista di Studi Pompeiani XII-XIII, p. 220 fig. 1
See D’Ambrosio A., 2003. Rivista di Studi Pompeiani XIV, p. 287.

SG4 Pompeii. 2001. Tomb SG4 at rear and tomb SG5 at front, with Porta Stabia in the background.

According to Campbell, the tomb has a nearly square podium base constructed of a single course of limestone blocks, 0.71 metres high.

This is on top of a moulded base with lava superstructure that bears some resemblance to the stepped format of an altar tomb.

It was found to be heavily damaged on excavation.

There was a vaulted chamber with two small stone benches at base of walls that contain niches with funerary urns.

There were traces of simple painted decoration on stucco on vault.

The construction type, the stepped nature of the superstructure suggests an altar tomb of mid to late 1st century AD.

See Campbell V.L., 2014. The Tombs of Pompeii: Organization, Space, and Society. Routledge: Abingdon UK, p. 303-4.

 

The continuation of the Via Stabiana out from the city was lined with a wall, with a top capping, in a careful opus reticulatum work, dressed in white plaster, largely preserved.

On the left in the photo is the wall in opus incertum lining the road.

See D’Ambrosio A., 2001-2. Rivista di Studi Pompeiani XII-XIII, p. 220 fig. 1

See D’Ambrosio A., 2003. Rivista di Studi Pompeiani XIV, p. 287.

 

SG4 Pompeii. 2015. Tombs SG4 (left) and SG5 (right), with roofing and scaffolding.

SG4 Pompeii. 2015. Tombs SG4 (left) and SG5 (right), with roofing and scaffolding.

 

SG4 Pompeii. 2015. Tombs SG4 (left) and SG5 (right), between buildings. Photo courtesy of Google Earth.

SG4 Pompeii. 2015. Tombs SG4 (left) and SG5 (right), between buildings.

Photo courtesy of Google Earth.

 

SG4 and SG5 Pompeii. 2018. Gold ring with two serpents’ heads facing, found in road by the tombs.
The paved road was in fact completely covered with a thick layer of alluvial accumulation that has yielded a large number of glass and ceramic finds such as lachrymatories and “pedine” (gaming pieces) but also a gold ring with two facing snake heads with eyes in glass paste.
See VesuvioLive.it

SG4 and SG5 Pompeii. 2018. Gold ring with two serpents’ heads facing, found in road by the tombs.

The paved road was in fact completely covered with a thick layer of alluvial accumulation that has yielded a large number of glass and ceramic finds such as lachrymatories and “pedine” (gaming pieces) but also a gold ring with two facing snake heads with eyes in glass paste.

See VesuvioLive.it

 

 

 

 

 

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Ultimo aggiornamento - Last updated: 20-Sep-2021 13:32