4.2 Present state of the properties

Figure 2
Figure 2: Amid the jungle of vegetation are the remains of a bar counter at III.10.6, Pompeii.

I was unable to view or record a number of rooms, and in some cases entire properties, because of their present state of (in)accessibility. Excessive vegetation prohibited entry to some properties (Figure 2), though this situation could change through seasonal variations or as a result of recent clearance projects by the SAP; some properties that I was unable to study in the first years of this survey became accessible more recently, and vice versa. A further limitation to my field survey concerns past excavation procedures in that a number of properties have only been partly cleared of the volcanic debris: in these cases it is usual that just one or two rooms fronting the street have been cleared. Some of these rooms, or entire properties, were subsequently reburied by the excavators under tonnes of debris. Others were not entirely excavated but had retaining walls built to keep the volcanic material from spilling onto the streets, particularly along the eastern ends of the Via della Abbondanza and Via di Nola. The original excavation reports, therefore, provide the only available information for such reburied properties. Other properties have been destroyed by modern building projects, such as the tourist restaurant at the north end of the forum that obliterated two properties in this survey - VII.5.14 and VII.5.17 (Figure 3). An Allied bombing attack during World War II, in which 163 bombs were dropped on Pompeii, destroyed much of the city including several of its bars (for a plan of the bomb damage: see Descoeudres 1994, 49, fig. 32). This attack heavily damaged two outlets at V.1.13 and V.1.14.

Figure 3
Figure 3: The construction of the modern restaurant, just north of the forum, destroyed this bar at VII.5.14, Pompeii.


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