Geographical Context The Physical Environment: the geographical setting, natural features and resources of Pompeii and Herculaneum Geographical Setting Campania Fertile, crescent-shaped volcanic plain Southern Italy Hot, dry summers with breezes from sea and mountains Mild, wet winters Natural Features Extended from Volturno River in the north >> Sorrentine Peninsula mountains in the south Named ‘Campania felix’ (felix means fortunate, happy) At the foot of the Apenine escarpment Lakes Rivers and springs Seas and harbours Fertile soils due to material from volcano Coastline of the Bay of Neples: o Sheltered harbours o Safe anchorages for trading and fishing fleets o Estuary of Sarno River – port of Pompeii Pompeii Herculaneum Situated on a raised area – a prehistoric lava flow Steep cliff dropping to the sea Natural bay – site for a port S.E slopes of volcano Sarno rover for water and shipping Fertile land for farming estates Abundance of vegetation Hot springs nearby Volcanic plateau S.W of Mt. Vesuvius Sheer cliff over sea Two streams – one to east, one to west Natural, safe but small harbours down in river bays Resources Corn Vines Olives Sheep >> therefore had fleece Bulls Seafood resources – garum sauce Vegetation: o Poplars o Willows
o Alder o Oak o Beech o Cabbage o Onions Fruit: o Peaches o Apricots o Lemons o Cherries o Plums o Pears o Figs Volcanic rock – pumice, lava, tufa – building material, roads and millstones Plans and Streetscapes of Pompeii and Herculaneum Pompeii Herculaneum 67 hectares – only 4/5 excavated Population approx. 20,000 Wealthy and poor housing Forum was epicentre Shops, taverns, workshops and housing >> all together Planned town >> reg. grid pattern o Insula (blocks of land) Road width: 2.4, 3.6 or 4.5 meters Porta Marina – main fate to get to Pompeii (leads from bay) Porta Sarno – led to river Sarno 7 access gates, 5 from other towns, 2 from ports (Nola, Nocera, Stabia, Vesuvio, Ercolano [Herc.]) 2 main streets o Via dell’Abbondanza (E to W) o Via Stabiana (N to S) o Main acial road crossed by minor roads Raised footpath – poor sewerage system Stepping stones – poor sewerage system >> made from volcanic tufa Street paving were well fitted together, made from tufa Fountains at intersection >> provided water o Had headstones o Standpipes: high vertical pipe >> used to make sure pressure in fountain was uniform in the entire water-supply system o Headstones could also indicate status 22 hectares – only 2/5 excavated Population approx. 5,000 Wealthy and poor housing Shops, taverns, workshops and housing >> all together Majority underneath Resina (modern town) Set up in rectangular blocks (Greek style) Sidewalks protected by overhanging roofs Main street: 40ft wide, 12ft sidewalks on either side Whole 2 storey houses preserved
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