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II.7.1 Pompeii. Palaestra or Palestra.

Excavated 1814 to 1816, 1933 and 1935 to 1939.

 

(Originally when excavated, this was numbered as Reg. II, Insula 10).

 

NdS 1939 records:

A group of 14 skeletons were found outside of the first doorway on the east side. (p.216) [See II.7.1].

A group of 17 victims were found on the west side of the pool. (p.215) [See II.7.3].

A group of 18 victims were found gathered in the latrine (p.222) [See II.7.11].

A group of 4 victims were found along the west portico (p.226) [See II.7.8].

Apart from these “groups of victims”, other individual victims were also found here.

For Maiuri’s “Scavo della “Grande Palestra” nel quartiere dell’Anfiteatro", -

see Notizie degli Scavi, Anno 1939, Fascicoli 7, 8, 9, on pages 165-238.

 

For details of Della Corte’s “Le iscrizioni della “Grande Palestra” ad occidente dell’ Anfiteatro”. See Notizie degli Scavi, 1939, (p.239-327)

 

II.7.1 Pompeii. Palaestra. September 2015. Entrance doorway.

II.7.1 Pompeii. Palaestra. September 2015. Entrance doorway.

 

II.7.1 Pompeii. Palaestra. December 1936. Gruppo di 14 scheletri. Group of 14 skeletons.

Secondo NdS; Poco al di fuori della prima porta del lato orientale della Palestra, quasi a pied della scarpata dell’aggere, si mise in luce (dicembre 1936) un gruppo di 14 scheletri dei quali 6 caduti uno sull’altro in uno spazio assai ristretto di terreno, in un viluppo confuso di ossa, e i rimanenti un poco discosti più a nord, giacenti sul primo strato di cenere, quasi tutti caduti bocconi sul terreno (fig. 28); di uno solo di essi (un giovanetto) potè eseguirsi un calco parziale del tronco, trovandosi gli arti inferiori ancora infossati nel lapillo. La presenza di individui adulti e giovanili, e la tragica sovrapposizione dei corpi, fa supporre che ci troviamo innanzi non a gruppi di fuggiaschi fortuitamente riuniti dal terrore della comune sciagura, ma di persone più intimamente strette da vincoli di parentela e probabilmente di due distinti gruppi di famiglie fuggite assieme da abitazioni contigue.

According to NdS; Just outside the first door on the eastern side of the Palestra, almost at the foot of the escarpment of the embankment, a group of 14 skeletons came to light (December 1936), 6 of which had fallen one on top of the other in a very small area of ground, in a confused tangle of bones, and the remainder a little further to the north, lying on the first layer of ash, almost all of which had fallen flat on the ground (fig. 28). Of only one of them (a juvenile) was it possible to make a partial cast of the trunk, as its lower limbs were still buried in the lapillus. The presence of adult and juvenile individuals, and the tragic superimposition of the bodies, suggests that we were facing not groups of fugitives fortuitously reunited by the terror of the common calamity, but of people more intimately close by ties of kinship and probably of two distinct groups of families who fled together from neighbouring homes.

Vedi/See Notizie degli Scavi di Antichità, 1939, p. 216, fig. 28.

II.7.1 Pompeii. Palaestra. December 1936. Gruppo di 14 scheletri. Group of 14 skeletons.

 

Secondo NdS; Poco al di fuori della prima porta del lato orientale della Palestra, quasi a pied della scarpata dell’aggere, si mise in luce (dicembre 1936) un gruppo di 14 scheletri dei quali 6 caduti uno sull’altro in uno spazio assai ristretto di terreno, in un viluppo confuso di ossa, e i rimanenti un poco discosti più a nord, giacenti sul primo strato di cenere, quasi tutti caduti bocconi sul terreno (fig. 28); di uno solo di essi (un giovanetto) potè eseguirsi un calco parziale del tronco, trovandosi gli arti inferiori ancora infossati nel lapillo. La presenza di individui adulti e giovanili, e la tragica sovrapposizione dei corpi, fa supporre che ci troviamo innanzi non a gruppi di fuggiaschi fortuitamente riuniti dal terrore della comune sciagura, ma di persone più intimamente strette da vincoli di parentela e probabilmente di due distinti gruppi di famiglie fuggite assieme da abitazioni contigue.

 

According to NdS; Just outside the first door on the eastern side of the Palestra, almost at the foot of the escarpment of the embankment, a group of 14 skeletons came to light (December 1936), 6 of which had fallen one on top of the other in a very small area of ground, in a confused tangle of bones, and the remainder a little further to the north, lying on the first layer of ash, almost all of which had fallen flat on the ground (fig. 28). Of only one of them (a juvenile) was it possible to make a partial cast of the trunk, as its lower limbs were still buried in the lapillus. The presence of adult and juvenile individuals, and the tragic superimposition of the bodies, suggests that we were facing not groups of fugitives fortuitously reunited by the terror of the common calamity, but of people more intimately close by ties of kinship and probably of two distinct groups of families who fled together from neighbouring homes.

 

Vedi/See Notizie degli Scavi di Antichità, 1939, p. 216, fig. 28.

 

II.7.1 Pompeii. Palaestra. May 2012. Entrance. Photo courtesy of Buzz Ferebee.

II.7.1 Pompeii. Palaestra. May 2012. Entrance. Photo courtesy of Buzz Ferebee.

 

II.7.1 Pompeii. Palaestra. May 2012. Detail of entrance.  Photo courtesy of Buzz Ferebee.

II.7.1 Pompeii. Palaestra. May 2012. Detail of entrance. Photo courtesy of Buzz Ferebee.

 

II.7.1 Pompeii. Palaestra. May 2010. Entrance.

II.7.1 Pompeii. Palaestra. May 2010. Entrance.

 

II.7.1 Pompeii. Palaestra. December 2006. Entrance.
According to Garcia y Garcia,
Many bombs, at least 10, fell in the internal and external areas, damaging the palaestra excavated between 1935-39. 
The first bombs fell during the night incursion of 20th September 1943; the others fell during the following days between 21st to the 26th September 1943.
One of the most beautiful of the plaster-casts made was of a man covering his face with his hands in a manner of true abandonment and resignation.  
He was found at the eastern extremity of the southern portico of the Palestra, and shown by Maiuri in the Pompeii Antiquarium, replaced in 1947 by a restoration that had altered notably the original form. (P.195 and note 78).
See Garcia y Garcia, L., 2006. Danni di guerra a Pompei. Rome: L’Erma di Bretschneider.

II.7.1 Pompeii. Palaestra. December 2006. Entrance.

According to Garcia y Garcia,

Many bombs, at least 10, fell in the internal and external areas, damaging the palaestra excavated between 1935-39.

The first bombs fell during the night incursion of 20th September 1943; the others fell during the following days between 21st to the 26th September 1943.

One of the most beautiful of the plaster-casts made was of a man covering his face with his hands in a manner of true abandonment and resignation. 

He was found at the eastern extremity of the southern portico of the Palestra, and shown by Maiuri in the Pompeii Antiquarium, replaced in 1947 by a restoration that had altered notably the original form. (P.195 and note 78).

See Garcia y Garcia, L., 2006. Danni di guerra a Pompei. Rome: L’Erma di Bretschneider.

 

II.7.1 Pompeii. Palaestra. June 2012. Latrine building to south of II.7.1.

II.7.1 Pompeii. Palaestra. June 2012. Latrine building south of entrance at II.7.1.

 

II.7.1 Pompeii. Palaestra. December 2006. Entrance to latrine building II.7.11 to south of II.7.1.

II.7.1 Pompeii. Palaestra. December 2006. Walled-up entrance to latrine building to south of II.7.1.

 

II.7.1 Pompeii. Palaestra.  Plaster cast of victim found near the latrine, perhaps found crouching on the ground with his back against the wall of the south portico.  Now in VII.7.29 Forum granary market.
Other victims found along the south portico (p.225) –  Skeleton of a horse and its driver.  The skeleton of the horse had been found almost leaning against the portico wall; his legs folded on the ground, his body a little contracted but still reassured in its anatomical composure; his head rested on the ash bank.  Less than a metre from the animal's head, the skeleton of the person to whom the horse belonged was found.
Extraordinary detail: eleven beads of glass-paste were collected around the bones of the beast's neck; a necklace as it is still used today in Campania as part of the decoration of the animal.
Found towards the eastern extremity from the southern portico, and from which plaster-casts could be made because they both lay in the high layer of ash. The one was a beautiful young man's body with agile legs knocked down on the portico floor at the first fall of the ashes.  The other, the most tragically posed, was found leaning against the wall, kneeling, crouching on the ground, in that crouching position that is found in Neolithic tombs, with his head folded forward, bent almost between his knees, for the better protection of himself with his hands and cloak against the exhalation of asphyxiating gases. He had shoes on his feet and wore the typical cloak of the peasant, the “cuculla”, whose flaps he held tight against his mouth.  And in removing the ash under his knees, imprints of overlapping fabrics were noticed, as if the unfortunate man had found comfort in his tragic pose by shielding his knees with the few garments he could arrange. (p.225-6)
For Maiuri’s “Scavo della “Grande Palestra” nel quartiere dell’Anfiteatro, -
see Notizie degli Scavi, Anno 1939, Fascicoli 7, 8, 9, on pages 165-238

II.7.1 Pompeii. Palaestra.

Plaster cast of victim found near the latrine, perhaps found crouching on the ground with his back against the wall at the east end of the south portico.

Now in VII.7.29 Forum granary market.

 

Other victims found along the south portico (p.225) –

Skeleton of a horse and its driver.

The skeleton of the horse had been found almost leaning against the portico wall; his legs folded on the ground, his body a little contracted but still reassured in its anatomical composure; his head rested on the ash bank. Found less than a metre from the animal's head, was the skeleton of the person to whom the horse belonged. Extraordinary detail: eleven beads of glass-paste were collected around the bones of the beast's neck; a necklace as it is still used today in Campania as part of the decoration of the animal.

 

Found towards the eastern extremity from the southern portico, and from which plaster-casts could be made because they both lay in the high layer of ash.

The one was a beautiful young man's body with agile legs knocked down on the portico floor at the first fall of the ashes.

 

The other, the most tragically posed, was found leaning against the wall, kneeling, crouching on the ground, in that crouching position that is found in Neolithic tombs, with his head folded forward, bent almost between his knees, for the better protection of himself with his hands and cloak against the exhalation of asphyxiating gases. He had shoes on his feet and wore the typical cloak of the peasant, the cuculla”, whose flaps he held tight against his mouth.  And in removing the ash under his knees, imprints of overlapping fabrics were noticed, as if the unfortunate man had found comfort in his tragic pose by shielding his knees with the few garments he could arrange. (p.225-6).

 

(ALTRE VITTIME. — Delle altre poche vittime che si rinvennero lungo il portico meridionale, sono da tener presente:

No. 66-67. Scheletro di un cavallo e del suo conducente.

Lo scheletro del cavallo si è rinvenuto quasi addossato al muro del portico: le gambe ripiegate sul terreno, il corpo un po’ rattratto ma raccolto ancora nella sua compostezza anatomica; il capo poggiato sul banco di cenere. A meno di un metro dalla testa dell’animale si rinvenne lo scheletro della persona a cui il cavallo apparteneva. Particolare importante: intorno alle ossa del collo della bestia si raccolsero undici grani di pasta vitrea; facevano parte della decorazione dell'animale, così come si usa ancor oggi in Campania di ornare con collane di grani variopinti non solo le testiere ma anche il collo dei cavalli da tiro e da corsa.

No. 61-62. Si rinvennero verso l’estremità orientale dall'ambulacro meridionale e se ne potè eseguire il calco perchè giacenti l’uno e l’altro nello strato alto di cenere.

 

L’uno era un bel corpo di giovinetto con le gambe agili e asciutte, stramazzato sul pavimento del portico al primo cadere delle ceneri.

 

L’altro il più tragicamente atteggiato; si rinvenne addossato al muro, ginocchioni, accosciato sul terreno, in quella positura di rannicchiamento che si ritrova nei sepolcri neolitici, con la testa ripiegata in avanti, curvata quasi fra le ginocchia, per meglio proteggersi con le mani e con il mantello dall’esalazione dei gas asfissianti. Aveva calzari ai piedi e portava il tipico mantello dei villici, la cuculla, i cui lembi egli teneva compressi alla bocca. E nel rimuovere la cenere sotto le ginocchia si notarono impronte di tessuti sovrapposti, come se lo sventurato avesse cercato un po’ di ristoro in quella sua tragica positura fulcendo le ginocchia con i pochi indumenti di cui poteva disporre. (p.225-6).)

 

For Maiuri’s “Scavo della “Grande Palestra” nel quartiere dell’Anfiteatro, - see Notizie degli Scavi, Anno 1939, Fascicoli 7, 8, 9, on pages 165-238

 

II.7.1 Pompeii. Palaestra. September 2015. On display as an exhibit in the Summer 2015 exhibition in the amphitheatre. When this body was cast, he was found to be tipped forwards, huddled up and bent double on his knees, when restored he was placed in this position. 
See Stefani, G. (2010). The Casts, exhibition at Boscoreale Antiquarium, 2010. (p.10)

II.7.1 Pompeii. Palaestra. September 2015. On display as an exhibit in the Summer 2015 exhibition in the amphitheatre.

 

“After the excavation of the Quadriporticus of the Theatres, between 1935 and 1939 the largest number of victims was found in this area, almost 100 bodies, 65 of which were found in the pumice layer and the rest in the debris left by the final 2 surges (4 and 5) that hit the city………

Only two casts have been successfully taken from all the bodies found in the Palestra:

one of an adult (see fig 3 on page 146 of this book, and also photo above) and the other:

according to Maiuri “the handsome body of a young man, one of those strong, agile young men from Campania, with athletic legs just made for running and for the last gasp of the race”.  The victim had been identified as an athlete, also because of the discovery near his body of bronze strigils, usually used by gymnasts”

See Guzzo, P. (ed), (2003). Tales from an eruption. Milano, Electa. (p.143, article by Tiziana Rocco, and (p.144) for photos of items found–

Gold and silver armband in form of a snake, SAP 6131

Bronze surgical instruments, SAP 6124, 6127, 6128

Different sized bronze cases with lids, for medicaments, SAP 6127, 6129a-e

Silver cup covered with foil embossed with scenes of the cult of Isis, NAP 6044.

Plaster cast of figure found near the latrine, crouching on the ground with his back against the wall of the east portico.)

 

II.7.1 Pompeii. May 2018. 
Plaster cast of victim found near the latrine of the Palaestra, perhaps, as portrayed here, found crouching on the ground with his back against the wall of the east portico. Photo courtesy of Buzz Ferebee.
However, when this body was cast, he was found to be tipped forwards, huddled up and bent double on his knees, when restored he was placed in this position. 
See Stefani, G. (2010). The Casts, exhibition at Boscoreale Antiquarium, 2010. (p.10).

II.7.1 Pompeii. May 2018.

Plaster-cast of victim found near the latrine of the Palaestra, perhaps, as portrayed here, found crouching on the ground with his back against the wall of the east end of the south portico. Photo courtesy of Buzz Ferebee.

However, when this body was cast, he was found to be tipped forwards, huddled up and bent double on his knees, when restored he was placed in this position.

See Stefani, G. (2010). The Casts, exhibition at Boscoreale Antiquarium, 2010. (p.10).

 

II.7.1/II.7.11 Pompeii. “La forica della Palestra”. 
Looking east along south side towards the amphitheatre.
See Notizie degli Scavi, 1939, p. 191, fig.16.

II.7.1/II.7.11 Pompeii. “La forica della Palestra”. Looking east along south side towards the amphitheatre.

See Notizie degli Scavi di Antichità, 1939, p. 191, fig.16.

 

II.7.1 Pompeii. September 2015. Looking west from entrance along south wall.
The door on the left is the entrance to the latrine.
According to Maiuri –
“The waste-water from the swimming pool was used for washing the large latrine on the south side of the southern portico.”
See Notizie degli Scavi, 1939, (p.189)

II.7.1 Pompeii. September 2015.

Looking west from entrance along south wall. The door on the left is the entrance to the latrine.

According to Maiuri –

“The waste-water from the swimming pool was used for washing the large latrine on the south side of the southern portico.”

See Notizie degli Scavi, 1939, (p.189)

 

II.7.1 Pompeii. Palaestra. December 2006. Looking west along south portico.

II.7.1 Pompeii. Palaestra. December 2006. Looking west along south portico.

 

II.7.1 Pompeii. Palaestra. September 2015. Looking north-west from entrance doorway and south portico.

II.7.1 Pompeii. Palaestra. September 2015. Looking north-west from entrance doorway and south portico.

 

II.7.1 Pompeii. Palaestra. December 2006. Looking North West though south portico.

II.7.1 Pompeii. Palaestra. December 2006. Looking north-west though south portico.

 

II.7.1 Pompeii. Palaestra. Looking west along south side. Photographed 1970-79 by Günther Einhorn, picture courtesy of his son Ralf Einhorn.

II.7.1 Pompeii. Palaestra. Looking west along south side.

Photographed 1970-79 by Günther Einhorn, picture courtesy of his son Ralf Einhorn.

 

II.7.1 Pompeii. Palaestra. June 2012. Looking north along east side.

II.7.1 Pompeii. Palaestra. June 2012. Looking north along interior east side.

 

II.7.1 Pompeii. Palaestra. May 2010. Looking north along the east wall.

II.7.1 Pompeii. Palaestra. May 2010. Looking north along the exterior east wall.

 

II.7.1 Pompeii. Palaestra. May 2010. East wall between II.7.1 and II.7.2.

II.7.1 Pompeii. Palaestra. May 2010. East wall between II.7.1 and II.7.2.

 

II.7.1 Pompeii. Palaestra. December 2006. Wall from II.7.1 to II.7.2.

II.7.1 Pompeii. Palaestra. December 2006. Wall from II.7.1 to II.7.2.

 

II.7.1 Pompeii. Palaestra. March 2009. Looking west from top of the amphitheatre.

II.7.1 Pompeii. Palaestra. March 2009. Looking west from top of the amphitheatre.

 

II.7.1 Pompeii. Palaestra. June 2012. Looking towards the south side.

II.7.1 Pompeii. Palaestra. June 2012. Looking towards the south side.

 

II.7.1 Pompeii. Palaestra. June 2012. Looking towards the south-west corner.

II.7.1 Pompeii. Palaestra. June 2012. Looking towards the south-west corner.

 

II.7 Pompeii. June 2019. Looking towards south-west corner, from pool. Photo courtesy of Buzz Ferebee.

II.7 Pompeii. June 2019. Looking towards south-west corner, from pool. Photo courtesy of Buzz Ferebee.

 

II.7.1 Pompeii. June 2019. Looking north towards II.7.9, on right, along west side. Photo courtesy of Buzz Ferebee.

II.7.1 Pompeii. June 2019. Looking north towards II.7.9, on right, along west side. Photo courtesy of Buzz Ferebee.

 

II.7.1 Pompeii. Palaestra. September 2015. Looking north along the interior west side.

II.7.1 Pompeii. Palaestra. September 2015. Looking north along the interior west side.

 

II.7.1 Pompeii. Palaestra. September 2015. Looking north from south-west corner.

II.7.1 Pompeii. Palaestra. September 2015. Looking north from south-west corner.

 

II.7.1 Pompeii. Palaestra. April 2019. Looking north towards Vesuvius, in distance behind trees. 
Photo courtesy of Rick Bauer.

II.7.1 Pompeii. April 2019.

Looking north across Palaestra towards Vesuvius, in distance behind trees. Photo courtesy of Rick Bauer.

 

II.7.1 Pompeii. Palaestra. April 2018. Looking north-east from south-west corner.
Photo courtesy of Ian Lycett-King. Use is subject to Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License v.4 International.

II.7.1 Pompeii. Palaestra. April 2018. Looking north-east from south-west corner. Photo courtesy of Ian Lycett-King.

Use is subject to Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License v.4 International.

 

II.7.1 Pompeii. Palaestra. September 2015. Looking north-east from south-west corner.

II.7.1 Pompeii. Palaestra. September 2015. Looking north-east from south-west corner.

 

 

 

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Ultimo aggiornamento - Last updated: 17-Aug-2021 18:30