Somma Vesuviana

3d model and reconstruction

Somma Vesuviana

Altair4 was asked to produce 3D graphic processing of all informaiton from the excavation by the University of Tokyo, directed by Professor Masanori Aoyagi, with a view of updating the virtual reconstruction model as the excavation work procedes, documenting also the phases when the villa was destroyed and abandoned.

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Short history of

Somma Vesuviana

The first investigations in the locality of Starza della Regina (Municipality of Somma Vesuviana) were undertaken in the 30s of the 20th century after the fortuitous discovery of a wall of notable dimensions in the course of agricultural work, which immediately indicated the presence of an architectural complex of certain importance in that area. The excavation, executed from 1934-36 by Matteo Della Corte under the supervision of Amedeo Maiuri, brought to light the remains of a monumental building. The building was conserved for the maximum height of about 9 m in elevation and had been destroyed, according to the same excavators, by the ‘mud lava consequent to the eruption of 79 AD’, when the restoration work successive to the earthquake of 62 was still underway.

Among the discovered structures the most majestic was a ‘colonnade with arches and pilasters’, oriented east-west and identified for the length of approximately 12 m; it was connected perpendicularly with a ‘brick wall’ and decorated with three niches. Apart from them, ‘columns and capitals of marble, pavements in mosaic, beautiful fragments of statues of a person in heroic dress polychrome stucco of walls and lacunars’ were also discovered. Despite the limited extension of the investigation effectuated then (approximately 70 square metres), the monumental characters of the constructions brought back to light and the their topographic location were judged sufficient elements to identify in the complex the so-called Villa of Augustus, many times recorded in the literary sources (Suet. Aug. 98; 100; Tib. 40 Tac., Ann., I, 5;I, 9; IV, 57) and situated apud Nolam, in which the emperor spent the last days of his life.

Altair4 has been commissioned to draw up graphically in 3D all the information coming from the excavation in progress by the University of Tokyo, under the direction of professor Masanori Aoyagi, then updating the virtual reconstruction model as the excavation proceeds, documenting even the phases of destruction and abandonment of the villa.