Pompeii Casts. Victim 17, male, found in 1895 in the torcularium of the Villa Pisanella at Boscoreale.


The large room that formed this torcularium was entirely plastered; in the wall facing the entrance doorway ran a raised ledge that indicated a separation of foundation, and in fact at the same level continued for all that side of the building (see fig.52), and marked precisely the floor of the countryside, that, as we have said, ran for about a metre from the front of the building to the rear part (p.400).


Around the presses, the walls were coated with a cuff of smoothed opus signinum, for the purpose of cleaning that it required, in order that the walls and presses could be washed. The two windows that we have seen on the front (see fig. 51), corresponded to another two large windows on the rear wall, that not only would have been closed by shutters, but also secured with grills. On top, on the line of the large earthenware dolia, opened another two small windows. Also, on the top of the rear wall remained the holes for large shelves, which were to constitute the carnarium, i.e. that place where the tools of the torcularium were kept after the work had been done.


The ziri (earthenware jugs, painted inside, used to store oil, etc) that were found buried at the edges of the fora, were very large and of a common form. In these, were read within rectangular name-plate, the stamp – SEXOBINISALVI


The torcularium, so big and well defended by a strong cover, was believed to be a safe shelter at the moment of the catastrophe, and the last inhabitants of the villa took refuge from the lapilli, and there they met their deaths.  On the edge of the forum to the left of the entrance (a), three corpses were overturned, on top of one another. Of one, the one that lay along the bench and with head on the edge, it was possible to make an entire plaster-cast.  He was on his back with his body stretched out and his head thrown backward, with right arm raised and almost resting on his elbow on the ground, with left arm stretched out along his side and enveloped in his garment, and with legs and feet out in the cold, as seen in fig. 53b


Boscoreale, Villa della Pisanella. 1895. Torcularium. Body cast of man stretched out on bench.
See Pasqui A., La Villa Pompeiana della Pisanella presso Boscoreale, in Monumenti Antichi VII 1897, fig. 53b.

Victim 17. Boscoreale, Villa della Pisanella. 1895. Torcularium. Body cast of man stretched out on bench.

Because of his clothing he was judged to be a man.

See Pasqui A., La Villa Pompeiana della Pisanella presso Boscoreale, in Monumenti Antichi VII 1897, fig. 53b.


Prior to restoration in 2015, the cast was in a poor state of conservation due to being in a dirty environment frequented by birds. Perhaps due to the bombing of 1943, in which everything was thought to have been destroyed, he lost his right arm, while his right thigh and head (?) were present, but detached.

The head is today missing but it can be hypothesized that it corresponds with one in the grouping under victim 89. The latter has an oval shape and some teeth from the upper row are visible on the face, while the rest is poorly outlined in the plaster.

Victim 17 was male and aged over 20.

There are large transverse folds of drapery, perhaps of a cloak.

The body was found in 1895, in the torcularium of the Villa del Tesoro, in località Pisanella, Boscoreale.

At the feet of the victim was found a large, laminated iron flask with bronze rim and foot.

See Osanna, N., Capurso, A., e Masseroli, S. M., 2021. I Calchi di Pompei da Giuseppe Fiorelli ad oggi: Studi e Ricerche del PAP 46, p. 360, Calco n. 17 and Calco n. 89.





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Ultimo aggiornamento - Last updated: 17-Mar-2024 12:49