Pompeii – Pistrina – 2014

The excavation campaigns
(by years)


Nicolas Monteix (University of Rouen).

How Eveha Participates

Archaeological investigations

In 2014, two new field seasons were conducted to study the bakeries of Pompeii, with a member of Éveha International taking part in the first of these.

Work principally involved the completion of site plans already begun during previous years, along with the cleaning of certain areas, depending on requirements. 13 bakeries were studied, and a total of 70 plans finalised.

The observations and cleaning carried out gave us a better understanding of the evolution of most of these bakeries throughout their periods of use, which varied in length. Detailed phasings can now be proposed, which attest to certain changes in the morphology and the function of these spaces.

In two cases, it was possible to demonstrate that these buildings had already been partially abandoned when the eruption occurred, as a number of millstones were partially dismantled (I 3, 27) or barely in working order (IX 3, 10-12).

Although cleaning was incomplete in several cases, we have been able to determine the function of the different spaces that made up these bakeries: mill room, ovens, kneading room, cisterns, latrines etc. Furthermore, several specific installations were identified. Aside from the ovens and the millstones which are easily recognised, new observations were carried out on the water supply systems, some of which fed basins for humidifying the grain before milling (VII 2, 3.6). Elsewhere, anchorings were found in the floor which may have corresponded to a wooden kneading trough (IX 3, 10-12). In most cases, however, the kneading troughs were made of stone, and several of these still contain remains of the mixing blade and its fixing system. In one example, the system of recesses in a stone wall probably held a shelf where dough would have sat during the raising process (VII 12, 11).

Careful study of the site records and early publications has revealed evidence of significant changes to the site since it was first discovered. These include remains buried under up to almost a metre of sediment, millstones or kneading troughs moved, walls collapsed and sometimes extensively reassembled, and damage to a number of artefactual elements such as the mixing blades.

Finally, an in-depth analysis of the architectural group made up of buildings located in I 4, 12 and I 4, 13-17 has confirmed that they belonged to two separate complexes, despite their proximity. In total, therefore, 40 bakeries are now known on the site of Pompeii.