Summer Tricilium of Villa Arianna at Stabiae

Summer Tricilium of Villa Arianna at Stabiae


Excavation Stabia, today contained in the modern town of Castellammare di Stabia, was an Ancient Roman town

Excavation Stabia, today contained in the modern town of Castellammare di Stabia, was an Ancient Roman town.

Which, along with Pompeii and Herculaneum, was engulfed in lava and ash when Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD. In fact, it was during this natural disaster that Pliny the Elder was killed in Stabiae.

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Summer Tricilium of Villa Arianna at Stabiae - History

A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

This fresco painting of Diana drawing her bow was discovered at the seaside Villa Arianna in Stabiae. (Courtesy National Archaeological Museum of Naples/SAP/Longobardi) [LARGER IMAGE]

The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History seems like an odd place for "In Stabiano: Exploring the Ancient Seaside Villas of the Roman Elite." Tucked between the dinosaurs and the diamonds are 71 artifacts and some of the most beautiful works of fresco painting from the ancient Roman world, many of which rarely leave Italy. The cancellation of another exhibit brought "In Stabiano" to Washington, D.C., until October 24, and it works well despite its unusual setting, providing a well-displayed and unexpected view into the lives of the very wealthiest Romans. The exhibit is the happy result of an 2002 treaty intended to suppress looting and illegal exportation of antiquities by allowing for long-term loans from Italy to the U.S. ("Opportunity Knocks," From the President, November/December 2003).

Although it was also destroyed by the same A.D. 79 eruption of Vesuvius that buried the now-famous sites of Pompeii and Herculaneum, the city of Stabiae on the Bay of Naples is relatively unknown outside of the archaeological community. More than 50 villas were discovered there in the late eighteenth century, subsequently forgotten, and then rediscovered in 1950 by the principal of a local high school. Several of the villas were partially excavated in the 1960s, a state in which they exist today.

Most of the exhibition's artifacts come from three spectacularly appointed villae marittimae, or seaside villas--the Villa San Marco, Villa Arianna, and Villa del Pastore. Of the highest quality, the frescoes illustrate the extraordinary lifestyle of the elite Romans who resided in these breezy homes during the hot summer months. Also included in the exhibition are unusual stucco decorations from the Villa Petraro, an estate with a working farm, and the triclinium, or dining room, from the nearby Villa Carmiano. Utilitarian cookware, bronze cooking vessels, intact ceramic lamps, and marble sculptures round out the intimate picture.

This small show works in an unexpected, understated way, considering its remarkable artifacts. There are few explanatory panels and no lengthy discourses on Pompeian painting styles, the devastation of the eruption, or the minutiae of the lives of the Romans--just a simple explanation of the importance of the villas and the beautifully lighted and displayed artifacts, which speak for themselves.


Excavated 1757-1762, 1777-1778, 1950-1962.

Room G and terrace, west wall and window onto Portico H, and steps to lower areas, on right.

Stabiae, Villa Arianna, June 2019. Looking west from north-east corner of portico H. Photo courtesy of Buzz Ferebee.

Stabiae, Villa Arianna, September 2015. Looking west through window onto Portico H and the large peristyle.

Stabiae, Villa Arianna, June 2019. Western end of large peristyle/palestra. Photo courtesy of Buzz Ferebee.

Stabiae, Villa Arianna, June 2019. Looking west across large peristyle/palestra. Photo courtesy of Buzz Ferebee.

Stabiae, Villa Arianna, May 2010. Portico H and the large peristyle/palestra, looking west. Photo courtesy of Buzz Ferebee.

Stabiae, Villa Arianna, May 2010. Official description of the peristyle/palestra. Photo courtesy of Buzz Ferebee.

Stabiae, Villa Arianna, September 2015. Steps from terrace down to lower areas.

Stabiae, Villa Arianna, September 2015.

Looking east from steps towards terrace B on left, and terrace/loggia outside of the rooms of the Villa, on right.

Stabiae, Villa Arianna, 1968. Looking east along loggia. Photo by Stanley A. Jashemski

Source: The Wilhelmina and Stanley A. Jashemski archive in the University of Maryland Library, Special Collections (See collection page) and made available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial License v.4. See Licence and use details.

Stabiae, Villa Arianna, 1968, looking from the loggia down the steps to lower floor and to the original sea-shore .

Photo by Stanley A. Jashemski

Source: The Wilhelmina and Stanley A. Jashemski archive in the University of Maryland Library, Special Collections (See collection page) and made available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial License v.4. See Licence and use details.

Stabiae, Villa Arianna, 1968. Looking north towards Vesuvius. Photo by Stanley A. Jashemski

Source: The Wilhelmina and Stanley A. Jashemski archive in the University of Maryland Library, Special Collections (See collection page) and made available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial License v.4. See Licence and use details.

Stabiae, Villa Arianna, June 2019. North-east corner of large peristyle. Photo courtesy of Buzz Ferebee.

Stabiae, Villa Arianna, September 2015. Portico H, north-east corner with remains of rooms P, Q and V, right of centre.

Stabiae, Villa Arianna, June 2019.

Looking west along terrace towards remains of rooms P, Q and V, at rear of north-east corner of peristyle.

Photo courtesy of Buzz Ferebee.

Stabiae, Villa Arianna, June 2019. Looking towards remains of rooms P, Q and V, at rear of north-east corner of peristyle.

Photo courtesy of Buzz Ferebee.

Stabiae, Villa Arianna, September 2015. Looking towards remains of east wall of room P, at north end of portico H.

Stabiae, Villa Arianna, September 2015. Looking west across area of rooms P, Q and V.

Stabiae, Villa Arianna, September 2015. Portico H, looking south-west across area of peristyle, from north-east corner.

Stabiae, Villa Arianna, September 2015. Looking down steps on west side of terraces.

Stabiae, Villa Arianna, September 2015. Three terraces enjoying the view of Castellammare di Stabia.

Stabiae, Villa Arianna, September 2015. Looking north across Castellammare towards Vesuvius.

Stabiae, Villa Arianna, September 2015.

Looking north-west down onto Castellammare from Villa and area of Via Nocera station, top left.

Stabiae, Villa Arianna, 1976. Looking north across towards Vesuvius. Photo by Stanley A. Jashemski.

Source: The Wilhelmina and Stanley A. Jashemski archive in the University of Maryland Library, Special Collections (See collection page) and made available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial License v.4. See Licence and use details.

Villa Arianna, 1976. Looking towards the windowed exedra, room A.

In front of the fine rooms of the Villa, designed to take advantage of the view, was a portico but only one column remained from it, and a balustrade.

On the right, at the side of the balustrade, the steps and a ramp would have led down to the two terraces and to the seashore.

Photo by Stanley A. Jashemski.

Source: The Wilhelmina and Stanley A. Jashemski archive in the University of Maryland Library, Special Collections (See collection page) and made available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial License v.4. See Licence and use details.

“There is a series of rooms arranged in a row overlooking the sea, built on a terrace buttressed by an arcaded wall.

A large triclinium with a painting of the marriage of Dionysus and Ariadne gave the villa its name.

The long loggia with rooms opening toward the sea is typical of the many maritime villas found along the coast.”

See Jashemski, W. F., 1979. The Gardens of Pompeii. New York: Caratzas. (p.333)

Stabiae, Villa Arianna, September 2015. Terrace C, with vaulted areas supporting the upper terrace, centre.

On the right is terrace B.

Stabiae, Villa Arianna, September 2015. Terrace C, looking towards the vaulted areas.

Stabiae, Villa Arianna, May 2010. Terrace C, looking towards the south wall with vaulted areas. Photo courtesy of Buzz Ferebee.

Villa Arianna, April 2005. Looking east towards arched wall below terrace. Photo courtesy of Michael Binns.

Stabiae, Villa Arianna, September 2015. Steps down to terrace C.

Stabiae, Villa Arianna, September 2015. Looking south-east along the upper terrace with fine views from the rooms.

Stabiae, Villa Arianna, September 2015. Looking south towards the rooms at the top of the stairs, rooms A, D, E, F and G.

Stabiae, Villa Arianna, September 2015. Looking south-east towards room A in centre of upper terrace.

Stabiae, Villa Arianna, September 2015. Looking towards doorways to rooms at eastern end of terrace.

Villa Arianna, 1976. Looking east towards arched wall with terrace. Photo by Stanley A. Jashemski.

Source: The Wilhelmina and Stanley A. Jashemski archive in the University of Maryland Library, Special Collections (See collection page) and made available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial License v.4. See Licence and use details.

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From the Ashes of Vesuvius, In Stabiano

Dallas, TX, June 4, 2007 — Many are aware that Mount Vesuvius’ eruption in A.D. 79 buried the famous town of Pompeii, Italy. Few people know that it also buried Stabiae, a seaside enclave of the rich and famous about three miles away, at the foot of the Sorrento-Amalfi Coast.

From the Ashes of Vesuvius, In Stabiano: Exploring the Ancient Seaside Villas of the Roman Elite will open at the Dallas Museum of Art on July 8 with a stunning collection of archaeological objects from the ancient Roman site of Stabiae (modern Castellammare di Stabia), including the various living areas of an upscale Roman villa. The exhibit— which premiered at the Smithsonian before traveling to other U.S. cities— will be on display in the J. E. R. Chilton Galleries through October 7.

From the Ashes of Vesuvius, In Stabiano features maps, excavation photographs and 72 objects dating between 89 B.C. and the time of the eruption, all from the villas of ancient Stabiae.

“The site is an enormous archaeological treasure, another ‘modern Pompeii’ waiting to be discovered,” said Anne Bromberg, The Cecil and Ida Green Curator of Ancient and Asian Art at the Dallas Museum of Art. “The remarkable exhibition presents the lifestyle of the very wealthy and powerful Roman elite. It is the best preserved concentration of 1st century B.C. and A.D. elite seaside villas in the entire Mediterranean world.”

“Among the artifacts are ancient frescoes, many of the highest quality, that demonstrate to visitors two major styles of the time,” said guest co-curator Thomas Noble Howe, Coordinator General of The Restoring Ancient Stabiae (RAS) Foundation project and professor at Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas. “The first style is a painterly style with floating figures and drapery fluttering in the breeze, painted with impressionist-like strokes as seen in the frescoes ‘Flora’ and ‘Diana’ and the second is a more dramatic style featuring actors of the time portraying mythological scenes.”

The exhibition was organized by the RAS Foundation, under the scientific supervision of the Archaeological Superintendancy of Pompeii, and sponsored by the Region of Campania and Alitalia Airlines. It tells the stories of four villas owned by wealthy Romans who spent the summer months in this town by the bay—Villa San Marco, Villa del Pastore, Villa Arianna and Villa Carmiano. In the story of Villa Carmiano, visitors can see the complete reconstruction of a triclinium, a three-couch dining room. The three couches, arranged in a U shape, could accommodate up to nine guests, whose seating order would be carefully chosen. They would recline and prop up on their left elbows, reaching for food on small tables placed in front of them.

Because it buried the towns in dry ash and pumice, the eruption of Mount Vesuvius preserved the furnishings, household items and farm equipment. The exhibition includes examples of these everyday objects including lamps, dinnerware, cooking utensils and garden tools made of materials like terracotta, glass, ceramic, bronze and iron.

The tour of eight American museums, organized by International Arts & Artists, Washington, D.C. and partially sponsored by NIAF, Grand Circle Foundation, and the Istituto Italiano di Cultura of Los Angeles, is the result of a unique arrangement between Italy and the United States creating the first longtime loan of antiquities from Italy to the United States. The agreement is intended to help protect the cultural heritage of Italy and to enrich American cultural life throughout educational programs and loans between Italian and American institutions.

In Dallas, the exhibition is supported by Interceramic and by the Donor Circle membership program through leadership gifts by Gail and Dan Cook, Charron and Peter Denker, Amy and Vernon Faulconer, The Gay and Lesbian Fund for Dallas, and Dee Torbert. The Dallas Museum of Art acknowledges generous funding from the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs. Air transportation provided by American Airlines promotional partners are the Dallas Morning News and Time Warner Cable.

Background
Two thousand years ago, the town known as Stabiae was a seaside resort community of lavish summer villas for powerful Romans overlooking the Bay of Naples. The elite discovered the beauty of the region and made it a virtual center of political power during the hot summer months of the Roman Senate holiday. Many “business meals” were taken in the great halls beneath frescoes and among stunning statues and furnishings.

There, deals were brokered, decisions made and alliances formed similar to the working social events of today’s modern business world. It was the Camp David and Crawford, Texas of its day.

Then, on August 24, A.D. 79, about midday, Mount Vesuvius erupted, burying the ancient town of Stabiae in ash and cinders, along with nearby Pompeii and Herculaneum.

The disaster brought an end to life in Stabiae, but also preserved the town for future exploration. Stabiae was forgotten until excavations that began at Herculaneum (1738) and Pompeii (1748) were extended to Stabiae in 1749.

The Bourbon king Charles VII of Naples promoted the excavation, which marked the beginning of modern archaeology. Eventually, Charles VII decided that the site of Stabiae be reburied and, once again, it was forgotten. In the 1950s, a curious principal of the local classical high school, with the help of an enthusiastic janitor and an unemployed car mechanic, began a second excavation at their own expense. The project was gradually passed to the Superintendancy of Archaeology of Pompeii.

The Superintendancy oversaw two more phases of excavation in the 1980s and 1990s and has scheduled a third major phase to begin later this year. The current phase of work was sparked by the master’s thesis of a young and passionate Italian architect from Castellammare di Stabia who was studying at the School of Architecture at the University of Maryland.


Stabiae is the ancient Latin name for the city of Castellammare di Stabia, which lies between Pompeii and Sorrento. Thanks to its magnificent geographical position and its particularly mild climate, it was inhabited since the 7th century B.C., as testified to by material found in the vast necropolis, containing more than three hundred graves, which was discovered in Via Madonna delle Grazie.

The importance of the finds made here immediately reveals the major commercial role played by this city. The built-up area must have occupied the northern tip of the Varano hill, from where it was possible to keep control both of the maritime port and the road junction. Stabiae would have been an oppidum, in other words a fortified city of a certain importance, as can be deduced from the fact that Sulla, the supreme commander of the Roman army during the Social War (91-88 B.C.), did not stop at occupying it (as he did with Pompeii and Herculaneum), but destroyed it both militarily and politically on 30 April 89 B.C. Many otium villas were then built in a panoramic position on the Varano hill intended mainly for residential purposes, they boasted vast living quarters, thermal bath structures, colonnades and splendidly decorated nymphaea.

Villa San Marco, which dates back to the early Augustan Age, underwent successive transformations in the Claudian Age. The main entrance from the street, which is now filled in, gave onto a colonnaded courtyard giving access to the tablinum and then to the tetrastyle atrium, with four cubicula opening off it. The thermal bath quarters are reached by way of a small atrium whose decoration with scenes of wrestling and boxing cupids was also renovated in the Claudian Age. The villa’s entertaining room must also have been sumptuous, with its walls clad with marble at the bottom and frescoed at the top.

The Varano hill is also home to nearby Villa Arianna, so called for the large painting of the mythical heroine Ariadne found in the triclinium. The eighteenth-century excavation was carried out by means of underground explorations, which only allowed for the retrieval of objects: the bestpreserved ornaments and frescoes were removed and sent to the Museo Borbonico at the Palazzo Reale di Portici (now in the Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli).

The villa, whose excavated area extends over an area measuring 2500 m2, has a complex layout, both because it is the result of successive enlargements, and because it follows the curve of the hill, adapting to its conformation. It is divided into four main areas: atrium and surrounding rooms dating back to the late-Republican Age service and thermal bath areas rooms at the sides of the summer triclinium, dating back to the Neronian Age and the large palaestra annexed to the villa in the Flavian Age.

Furthermore, a long tunnel, starting at the ramps and passing under the residential quarters, emerged in the rustic area, where there was access to the villa from the Varano plateau. The decorative schemes testify not only to the high standard of living that must have prevailed here, but also to the extremely refined taste of a high-ranking and demanding client. This site is included in the circuit campania>artecard.


Excavation Stabia, today contained in the modern town of Castellammare di Stabia, was an Ancient Roman town

Excavation Stabia, today contained in the modern town of Castellammare di Stabia, was an Ancient Roman town.

Which, along with Pompeii and Herculaneum, was engulfed in lava and ash when Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD. In fact, it was during this natural disaster that Pliny the Elder was killed in Stabiae.

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UNDERWATER ARCHAEOLOGY

Situated in the beautiful and versatile backdrop of Vesuvian Institute, the Department follows and promotes initiatives to spread knowledge about underwater excavations, especially those located in the Campania Region.
This region played a large role in Roman military and economic History, with a naval base in Miseno and the commercial port of “Sinus Bainus”. There were also many seaside villas that contributed to the social structure of Rome, all of which are unique to this particular region.
Our research department sits comfortably between the traditional and technologically advanced methods, making us accessible to scholars, researchers and enthusiasts alike. Our departments looks towards new discovers as well as preserving and conserving.

TECHNICAL EQUIPMENT

The RAS Foundation has worked with the department to build a research boat named Captain Porzio, equipped with a DP Dynamic Positioning system that has fixed positioning and a high power Hydroacoustic position Reference system for transponders. The advanced technology is able to identify and simultaneously control up to 58 submerged signals .

They also have a submarine, Pliny the Elder, which is able to reach a depth of 300 meters, it can transport 2 guests plus the pilot or be operated remotely.


STAFF

Professor Pietro G. Guzzo
President
Pietro Giovanni Guzzo began his career in 1969 after completing a degree in Archaeology from Roman University in Athens. Working in archaeological inspections of Naples, Calabria, Rome, Taranto, Bologna and Pompeii he took part in restorations of Campania and Basilicata after the earthquake in 1980. He was also the director in archaeological sites in the city of Sibari, Roman national museum and Colosseo. He was the president of the local National Cultural Heritage Committee member-correspondent of the German Archaeological Institute.
P.P.Guzzo has published many materials on archaeology and history. His interests also include an initiative for a conservation of Cultural Heritage.

Professor Matthew J. Bell, AiA
Vice President

Notaio Ferdinando Spagnuolo
Founder of the RAS Foundation & Managing Director

Professor Thomas Noble Howe
Chief Coordinator

Dr Paolo Gardelli
Archaeologist

Dr. Nicoletta Valanzano
Academic coordinator (USA)

Dr. Lina Sorrentino
Academic coordinator

Dr. Lyudmila Lasiy
Academic coordinator


CULTURAL TOURISM

The Vesuvian Institute complex overlooks the enchanting Bay of Naples, not far from Ercolano, Pompeii, Paestum, Sorrento, Amalfi, Positano and the Isle of Capri.

T he Institute takes a new look at Cultural Tourism which combines the pleasure of knowledge with the traditions of archaeology, history, art, environment, good food and conviviality. With us, you can enjoy a unique experience.

W e are changing the concept of Cultural Tourism offering a holiday within a scientific and archaeological research structure. Our members of staff are cultural operators, specialised archaeologists and scientists who will enrich this experience of a lifetime.


Watch the video: ANGELO MASCOLO ARCHEOLOGO ci parla degli scavi di STABIAE 25032019