Pompei – Projet RECAP

In spring 2015, a member of Eveha International was associated with the RECAP project on the site of Pompeii. This project is under the responsibility of Hélène Dessales (ENS / CNRS UMR 8546).

The excavation campaigns
(by years)


Hélène Dessales (ENS / CNRS UMR 8546)

Location and historical summary



The city of Pompeii is located in the Campania region in southern Italy. It is situated on the Gulf of Naples, and originally stood near the coast. Pompeii was founded in the 8th century AD, and so already had a long history when it was largely destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. The presence of the volcano makes the area a zone of high seismic activity, and several eruptions and earthquakes had preceded the disaster.

Research history


The city of Pompeii has been gradually unearthed since the Modern era, and has been the subject of a large number of studies that cannot be summarised here. This page focuses on Project RECAP, which aims to examine the practical methods of reconstruction and the techniques used in the Roman period, after an earthquake occurred. Within the history Roman construction, this research question has been given little attention, even though it is an important issue for understanding the development of an architecture related to risk and emergency. The project’s main objective is to identify whether Roman builders, faced with a recurring risk, built anti-seismic structures. In order to develop this research question, Pompeii provides the context for a systematic and multidisciplinary study. This small city in Campania was the victim of several earthquakes. One of these, which took place in 62/63 AD, is known to have been particularly destructive. Project RECAP therefore aims to characterise the seismic impacts, identify repair activities and highlight any technical innovations. To expand on the initial work carried out on the water towers – vitally important elements in an urban context – and on Diomede’s Villa, a study will be conducted on a whole area of Pompeii (Regio VII). This will involve the characterisation of repair works following the earthquakes. Beyond the case study of Pompeii, a broader exploration of the memory of risk and the awareness of vulnerability in Campania will take place, including the zone around Mount Vesuvius and the Phlegraean Fields. These two areas of contrasting geological formations and seismic activity will be studied together to examine the effects of earthquakes and bradyseism. Project RECAP is therefore based on a strongly multidisciplinary approach which calls upon construction archaeology, sociology, computer science, structural engineering and geology in close conjunction.

How Eveha International Participates

Study and survey of buildings


Jean Bérard Centre, Naples
Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris (IPGP)
French National Institute for computer science and applied mathematics (Inria Paris – Rocquencourt) /p>