The Need to Focus on Preservation and Restoration in the Archaeological Sites of Pompeii and Herculaneum

Topics: Pompeii

Regarded as two of the most notable archaeological sites, Pompeii and Herculaneum have been the subject of informal and formal excavation. Their exposure to the elements has resulted in the need to focus on preservation and restoration, a task undertaken by a variety of archaeologists and curators. The changing methods have varied in effectiveness, and this can be seen through background knowledge as well as sources E, F, and G.

Source E presents a preservation method introduced by archaeologist Giuseppe Fiorelli.

Plaster molds have proven effective in preserving the tragic nature of the Pompeian’s death. A notable feature of Source E is the glass case surrounding the body. Tourists touching the remains of Pompeii and Herculaneum is a significant aspect that has led to the deterioration of the sites and everything preserved in them. The glass case is an attempt to stop tourists from laying their hands on the body, something that can’t necessarily be done effectively for the more large-scale features of the cities.

It allows tourists to observe an integral part of Pompeii’s story without being able to damage it. The plaster molds can be viewed as an effective method of preservation, reminding us of the tragic fate which took hold of the citizens of Pompeii and Herculaneum.

Source F reflects the preservation method most easily accessible to assist with keeping the buildings intact. Scaffolding is a cheap and temporary method, something that should not be considered a permanent solution as the metal easily rusts and is not immune to collapse.

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The effects of ivy and weeds, dog feces and urine, mold, and water, amongst other factors, have contributed to the increased problems surrounding the ancient architecture of Pompeii and Herculaneum. This ever-growing list of problems requires solutions that aren’t easily accessed, mainly due to funding and the vast amount of issues to focus on. As such, scaffolding has become the most viable preservation method but should not be considered a sustainable method, nor the most effective.

Source G contains an image of the predominant focus for archaeologists and curators over the past years; restoration. It began in the 1920s with archaeologist Amedeo Maiuri. Source G showcases the forms that restoration takes, replacing features of buildings with newer versions. For example, the wood in Source G is a recent addition to the building as the previous wood could not have survived the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius. Initial restoration attempts did not have the desired effect due to their use of concrete and steel, an ill fit with the ancient buildings of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Increased knowledge has allowed renovations to become more effective. Many projects have been created to assist in preserving the two cities such as the Herculaneum Conservation Project (HCP), which brought in a water drainage network, and the Grand Pompeii Project, which restored six buildings in 2015 including the Fullonica di Stephanus. These projects, as well as funding provided by the European Union and other major groups, emphasize the importance of restoration to effectively preserve the past.

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The Need to Focus on Preservation and Restoration in the Archaeological Sites of Pompeii and Herculaneum. (2022, Jun 23). Retrieved from https://paperap.com/the-need-to-focus-on-preservation-and-restoration-in-the-archaeological-sites-of-pompeii-and-herculaneum/

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