The Swedish Pompeii Project

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The Swedish Pompey Project

The Swedish Pompeii Project started in 2000 as a fieldwork project initiated at the Swedish Institute in Rome. The aim was to record and analyse an entire Pompeian city-block, Insula V 1. In the recording process large quantities of data and photographs have been amassed and this is the forum we have chosen to share the collected information with those interested in the details of Pompeian houses. The presentation of each room with all its features constitutes a major part of this research platform, under the heading Documentation of Insula V 1.

Some excavation took place in spots critical for the understanding of earlier phases of the city. In the course of such investigations, prehistoric (Early Bronze Age/Palma Campania) layers, including a volcanic ash layer, were encountered for the first time under Pompeii.

Created to encompass all major disciplines promoted by the Swedish Institute in Rome, our research also targets a wider contextualisation of the Pompeian evidence. Pompeii Revived is the title used to shelter studies in legacy, whereas the City Gate Seminar has the ambition to discuss the validity of historical analogies as guidance for interpretation of evidence concerning everyday life in the past in a broad sense.

Since autumn 2010 the project and its research is directed from the Department of Archaeology and Ancient History at Lund University. Simultaneously a new branch of advanced digital archaeology, involving 3D reconstructions and documentation methods was added to the project agenda. The insula was scanned during the field campaigns in 2011 and 2012 in collaboration with the ISTI (Istituto di Scienza e Tecnologie dell’Informazione "A. Faedo") in Pisa and the Humanities Lab at Lund University. The actual work in progress, carried out by the ISTI in Pisa, consists of finding a way to navigate the models easily, "naturally", and in such a way that it will be possible to freeze the image of a wall or other detail under study and link this image back to the documentation offered by this web page. The results will be presented shortly and our first 3D models are already available in open access. These are linked to the pages describing atrium and peristyle of the Casa del Torello, V 1,7.

EDITORS of Anne-Marie Leander Touati, director of the Swedish Pompeii Project and its web. Henrik Boman, editor, webmaster: structure, text and image.

Mats Holmlund, web designer: database administrator and technical support.

Questions regarding the homepage can be addressed to Henrik Boman ( or Mats Holmlund (

The Project

Contextualisation is a keynote concept in the design of the Swedish Pompeii Project. It recurs as a common ambition in all separate parts of the project.

Fieldwork in Insula V 1 The focus on context contributed to the choice of study object, a full insula instead of isolated houses, the by far more common base unit in the tradition of studies on Pompeian domestic architecture. The larger frame invites to study interrelation between the houses over time as well as the development of the separate units. When Pompeian time was arrested, Insula V 1 had known at least 250 years of urban life, during which certain moments brought major changes both in property use and in the arrangement of property boundaries. These changes should be discussed in relation to the general development of the town. Evidence related to the major events in the life of the town, proper to this insula, should be collected and commented upon, just as should all other fragments of Roman life that might still be retrieved through investigation of its ruins. The prerogative for this study is the creation of a new, accurate and thorough documentation.

The City Gate Seminar In this research, the question of context is widened. One particular city environment has been chosen for study, not only in its Pompeian translations but also elsewhere, in other places and other times. In the case of Pompeian domestic architecture and the city scape in large, such historical analogies has been used as interpretative models for the use of space by Andrew Wallace-Hadrill in his Houses and Society in Pompeii and Herculaneum (1994). In Pompeji, Archäologie und Geschichte (2005), Jens-Arne Dickmann uses examples from contemporary Naples in his attempt to visualise the close coexistence of dwellings and artisans¡¯ shops. The part of the city chosen for our seminar took its point of departure in the location of Insula V 1, not by but close to the Porta Vesuvio. It seemed natural to expect that life within the insula was somehow dependent on the goings-on in the via del Vesuvio leading to and fro the Gate. Furthermore, the city gate is an important area in any ancient city, which has not been sufficiently studied neither in its own right nor in the light of comparative study.

Pompeii revived The study of Pompeian afterlife aims to achieve three major results. One is to record ancient Pompeian material and Pompeian influences in Sweden from the 18th century to the present. Another is to discuss the motivation behind the references made to Pompeii in classicising architecture and interior decoration. The third is to put the Swedish experience in a larger, international context




T. Staub, The Casa del Torello di Bronzo (V 1,7) in Pompeii. Investigating a residential house and its complex water system, doctoral dissertation at Stockholm University, Stockholm 2013.

N. dell’Unto, M. Callieri, M. Dellepiane, A.-M. Leander Touati, S. Lindgren & C. Larsson, ’Pompeii revived: Scanning mission - Insula V 1’, in Archaeology in the Digital Era. Papers from the 40th Annual Conference of Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology (CAA), Southampton, United Kingdom, 26-30 March 2012, (eds.) G. Earl, T. Sly, A. Chrysanthi, P. Murrieta-Flores, C. Papadopoulos, I. Romanowska & D. Wheatley, Amsterdam 2013, 199-207. (Link)

N. dell’Unto, D. Ferdani, A.-M. Leander Touati, M. Dellepiane, M. Callieri & S. Lindgren, ’Digital reconstruction and visualization in archaeology. Case-study drawn from the work of the Swedish Pompeii Project’, in 2013 Digital Heritage International Congress, (eds.) A. Addison, G. Guidi, L. De Luca & S. Pescarin, 2013, 621-628. (Link)


H. Boman ’Let there be light. Light in atrium houses in Roman Pompeii and Herculaneum’, Vesuviana 3, 2011, 89-102.

A. Karivieri, ’The atrium mosaic in the Casa di Caecilius Iucundus and the aesthetics of a Pompeian house’, in Marmoribus Vestita. Miscellanea in Onore di F. Guidobaldi, (eds.) O. Brandt & P. Pergola, Cittá del Vaticano 2011, 763-773.


A.-M. Leander Touati, ’Water, well-being and social complexity in Insula V 1. A Pompeian city block revisited’, Opuscula, 3, 2010, 105-161. (Link to free download)


M. Nilsson, ’The first of a series of disasters? Pompeii and the aftermath of an Early Bronze Age eruption’, Beyond determinism? Engagement and response in human-environment interactions (Archaeological Review from Cambridge, 24.2), (eds.) R.H. Inglis & A.J.E. Pryor, Cambridge 2009, 81-98.

T. Staub, ’Decorative effects and room functions. Evidence of thresholds studied in the residential quarters of Insula V 1, Pompeii’, Opuscula 2, 2009, 205-218. (Link to free download)


M. Staub Gierow, Pompejanische Kopien aus Dänemark (Studi della Soprintendenza archeologica di Pompei, 24), Roma 2008.

In Nuove ricerche archeologiche nell’area vesuviana (scavi 2003-2006) Atti del convegno internazionale, Roma 1-3 febbraio 2007 (Studi della Soprintendenza archeologica di Pompei, 25), (eds.) P.G. Guzzo & M.P. Guidobaldi, Rome 2008: M. Nilsson, ’Evidence of Palma Campania settlement at Pompeii’, 81-86. H. Boman, ’The interaction between street and houses in the North-West corner of Insula V 1’, 87-92. M. Staub Gierow, ’Some results from the last years’ field work in Casa degli Epigrammi Greci (V 1,18. 11-12)’, 93-102. A. Karivieri & R. Forsell, ’New results from the campaigns of 2003-2006 in the Casa di Caecilius Iucundus (V, 1, 22-27)’, 103-108. T. Staub, ’Initiating the Study of Casa del Torello (V 1,7). Some observations concerning the water use and distribution’, 109-116. A.-M. Leander Touati, ’Shared structures - common constraints. Urbanisation of Insula V 1’, 117-123.


In Opuscula Romana 31-32, 2006-2007: A.-M. Leander Touati, ’Interim report of the Swedish Pompeii Project: work 2000-2004/5 in Insula V 1. Introduction’, 101-104. M. Staub Gierow, ’The House of the Greek epigrams V 1,18.11-12: preliminary report 2000-2004’, 105-117. A. Karivieri & R. Forsell, ’The House of Caecilius Iucundus, V 1,22-27: a preliminary report’, 119-138. H. Boman & M. Nilsson, ’The commercial establishments V 1,13; V 1,14-16; V 1,20-21: preliminary report 2001-2004’, 139-154. M. Robinson, ’Evidence for garden cultivation and the use of bedding-out plants in the peristyle garden of the House of the Greek epigrams (V 1, 18i) at Pompeii’, 155-159. H. Boman & M. Nilsson, ’The early street and the prehistoric finds in Vicolo delle Nozze d’Argento, Pompeii’, 161-165.


H. Boman, ’White light/white heat. The use of fire as a light and heat source in an atrium house in Roman Pompeii’, Current Swedish Archaeology 13, 2005, 59-75.

M. Nilsson & M. Robinson, ’Remains of prehistoric habitation beneath Pompeii V 1,13’, Opuscula Romana 30, 2005, 97-103.

M. Staub Gierow, ’Wiederentdeckte Wände der Casa delle Vestali, Pompeji VI 1,7’, Otium, Festschrift für Volker Michael Strocka, (eds.) T. Ganschow & M. Steinhart, Remshalden 2005, 257-365.

In Nuove ricerche archeologiche a Pompei ed Ercolano, Atti del convegno internazionale, Roma 28-30 novembre 2002 (Studi della Soprintendenza archeologica di Pompei, 10), (eds.) P.G. Guzzo & M.P. Guidobaldi, Naples 2005: M. Staub Gierow, ’Insula V 1: Casa degli Epigrammi Greci’, 144-149; A. Karivieri, ’Insula V 1: Casa di Caecilius Iucundus (V 1.23-26)’, 150-55; T. Staub, ’Thresholds of V 1,18’, 387 (poster). E.M. Pinto-Guillaume, ’Drawing archaeological remains in the field’, 388 (poster).

Public information

F. Kärfve, ’Var hälsad, sårade björn! Pompejanska ingångsmosaiker’, Medusa 2013:1, 13-21.

L. Johansson, ’Livet bland larerna. De materiella lämningarna av huskulten i Pompeji’, Medusa 2013:1, 23-30.

Lunchboxen: Interview with Anne-Marie Leander Touati on radio channel P4 Malmöhus, ’Hon kan inte släppa Pompeji’, 2011-04-26. (Link to radio interview)

C. Liebe-Harkort, ’Från middagsbordet till soptunnan. Djurben från forna måltider i Pompeji’, Medusa 2011:2, 1-4.

M. Nilsson, ’Tio år av svensk utgrävning i Pompeji’, Populär arkeologi 2011:2, 28-29.

Skåne direkt: Interview with Anne-Marie Leander Touati on radio channel P4 Malmöhus, ’Lundaarkeologer lär känna Pompeji’, 2011-01-13. (Link to radio interview)

T. Staub, ’Pompeji: rasade hus och andra problem’, Romhorisont 54, 2011, 16-17.

L. Johansson, ’Pompeji: hamnstaden mellan havet och floden’, Medusa 2010:3, 29-32.

H. Boman, ’Aska och Pimpsten. En katastrof i Neapelbukten 79 e.Kr., Medusa 2010:2, 6-12.

M. Nilsson, ’Vesuvius – en vulkan aktiv efter år 79’, Medusa 2010:2, 13-17.

F. Kärfve, ’Vad görs för Pompeji?’, Medusa 2010:2, 18-24.

H. Boman, ’Flyktingarna vid stranden’, Medusa 2010:2, 46.

C. Liebe-Harkort, ’CAVE CANEM’, Medusa 2009:2, 33-36.

M. Carlsson Lénart, ’Lavande historia’, Aftonbladet 2007-04-25. (Link)

Vetandets värld, Swedish national radio P1: ’Katastrofernas geografi’ by M. Carlsson Lénart 2006-12-12. (Link)

M. Nilsson, ’Den förhistoriska byn under Pompeji: resultat från utgrävningen 2005’, Romhorisont 46, 2006, 35-36.

T. Svanelid, ’Katastrofialue: Pompeji. Arkeologit tekevät uusia löytöjä tulivuroren varjossa’, Historia 2006:5, 34-39.

M. Nilsson, ’Utbrottet som förstörde Kampanien ...år 1700 f.Kr.’, Medusa 2006:4, 10-14.

M. Nilsson, ’Ett Pompeji under Pompeji’, Populär arkeologi 2006:3, 4-7

M. Nilsson, ’Kampanien under tidig bronsålder’, Populär arkeologi 2006:3, 8.

M. Nilsson, ’Att leva och dö i Vesuvius skugga: katastrofer från förhistorisk till modern tid’, Katastrof! Olyckans geografi och antropologi (Ymer, 126), ed. T. Lundén, Stockholm 2006, 109-126.

T. Svanelid, ’Katastrofområde: Pompeji. Arkeologerna gör nya fynd i vulkanens skugga’, Allt om historia 2005:3, 46-51.

S. Lehmann, ’Una "città" prima di Pompei romana’, Archeologia Viva 113 nuova serie, 2005, 14-15.

D. Rydén, ’Svenskt fynd i ruinstaden’, Sydsvenskan 2005-10-22. (Link)

S. Lehmann, ’Viene alla luce una Pompei preistorica’, Corriere del Ticino 2005-08-08.

M. Nilsson, ’Rapport från fältet: det okända Pompeji’, Romhorisont 45, 2005, 15-17.

A.-M. Leander Touati, ’Jordflytt tack vare stöd’, Romhorisont 45, 2005, 17.

E.M. Pinto-Guillaume, ’Keramik och mollusker i trädgårdens djup’, Romhorisont 45, 2005, 18-21.

’Pompeii beneath Pompeii’, Current World Archaeology 11, 2005, 6-7. (Link)

S. Turrin, ’Pompei, un sito preistorico ai piedi del Vesuvio’, 2005-04-29.

’Pompei discovery for Swedish archeologists’, Iranian Cultural Heritage News Agency, 2005-04-18.

’Frühe Siedlungen unter Pompeji entdeckt’, Spiegel Online 2005-04-18. (Link)

’Svenskt stenåldersfynd under Pompeji’, kulturnyheterna 2005-04-15. (Link)

Vetenskapsradion, ’Svenska arkeologer hittade ett Pompeji under Pompeji’, Swedish national radio P1 2005-04-15. (Link)

’Äldre Pompeji funnet’, Populär historia 2005-04-14.

G. Sörbring, ’Svenskar fann stenåldrigt Pompeji’, Dagens Nyheter 2005-04-14. (Link)

A.-M. Leander-Touati, ’Pompeji 2000+’, Medusa 2003:4, 2-10.

M. Gierow, ’Pompeji, namn och hus’, Medusa 2003:4, 11-21.

C. Pettersson, ’Kalk, sand och lacknafta. Om putsanalyser i Pompeji’, Medusa 2003:4, 22-25.

H. Boman,’Staden runt ett kvarter i Pompeji’, Medusa 2003:4, 27-35.

A. Karivieri, ’En affärsmans arkiv i Pompeji – vaxtavlorna från Caecilius Iucundus hus’, Medusa 2003:4, 36-43.

R. Forsell, ’Hela staden gungar’, Medusa 2003:4, 44-46.

T. Staub, ’Pompejanska bagerier’, Medusa 2003:4, 47-56.

B. Kaussel & E.M. Pinto-Guillaume, ’Att dokumentera arkitektur i Pompeji – mer än bara mätningar’, Medusa 2003:4, 57-62.

M. Nisser-Dalman, ’När Pompeji kom till Dalarna’, Medusa 2003:4, 63-71.

Vetenskapsradion, ’Pompeji äldre än man trott’, interview on Swedish national radio P1 with Margareta Staub Gierow 2003-11-10. (Link)

Pompeji - arkeologi och erotik, documentary on Swedish national TV channel SVT 2, producer Ann Victorin, 2003-01-19. (Link to the programme in the open archive of SVT Play)

T. Svanelid, ’Svenskar kartlägger Pompejis äldsta historia’, Populär historia 2002-04-18. (Link)

B. Gustafson, ’Pompeji – här har arkeologer grävt i trehundra år’, Populär arkeologi 2001:3, 8-11.