Mora Collection ➔ MRA-ITA-Erc004

Collection Item

Sample ID:

Sample Type:
Mural painting
(Sub-Type: fragment)

4.5 cm L x 0.5 cm W x 3.7 cm H   (largest fragment)

6 g   (all fragments together)

Geographic Location:
Map and GPS DD Coordinates

Ercolano, Scavi archeologici

Historical note about the site/monument:
Herculaneum became a Roman municipium in 89 BCE, but all life in the city came to a halt with the infamous eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 CE. In the wake of the eruption the city was buried in a deep and compact mass of tufaceous matter; Herculaneum was effectively frozen in time. These dense layers of volcanic debris enabled the preservation of an array of otherwise fragile archaeological materials. Nor did the eruption obliterate en masse the decorative artwork gracing the homes of Herculaneum (see, for instance, the mosaics of the house of Neptune and Amphitrite). Also preserved are several mural paintings and houses with ornamental colored stone cladding. Excavations of the site began after its discovery in the 18th century and continue to the present day.

Further reading:
De Carolis, E. & Patricelli, G. (2003). Vesuvius, A.D. 79: The Destruction of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum. ISBN-10: 0892367199.
Pirozzi, M.E.A. (2000). Herculaneum: The Excavations, Local History and Surroundings. Naples, Italy: Electa.

Chronological period (sample):
Roman period

Photos/Documents (provenance):
View over Herculaneum (photo by Andrea Schaffer, / CC BY-SA 2.0)

Interior of the house of Neptune and Amphitrite (photo by Rutger van der Maar, / CC BY-SA 2.0)