Institute of Classical Archaeology

The Forum of Pompeii. Comitium and East portico

The forum of Pompeii has been at the centre of classical archaeological research for approximately 200 years. The archaeological evidence and the site’s monuments – in their good state of preservation – provide an excellent basis for the historical study of this particular area. Many of the excavations carried out in the forum of Pompeii, however, have remained unpublished, which results in the fact that a lot of basic questions concerning the forum itself as well as aspects that connect it with the history of the city are still unclear.

The project has two main objectives: 1) to study the edificial development of the so-called Comitium and to discuss its still disputed function and 2) to investigate the area of the East portico where Tabernae were located. The main objective is to understand the development of eastern part of the forum from the time of the Roman Republic through the early Imperial period. It is hitherto unclear for how long the eastern part of the forum was used for economic purposes and to which area its function was relocated after it was disused in Augustan times. Perhaps the Macellum or the so-called Comitium were deemed suitable alternatives.

In 2015 geophysical prospection were carried out in the area of the so-called Comitium and the East portico courtesy of the Soprintendenza di Pompei (Massimo Osanna, Sara Masseroli and Laura D’Esposito) and with the support of the Kommission zur Erforschung des antiken Städtewesens der Bayerischen Akademie der Wissenschaften in collaboration with the Arbeitsgruppe 'ArchäoGeophysik' of the University of Cologne, Germany.

Currently, the results of the geophysical prospection are being evaluated, but already as of now promising, to date unknown structures have been identified especially in the area of the entrance of the so-called Lararium and the so-called Comitium.

Prof. Dr. Johannes Lipps, Juniorprofessor
Dr. Manuel Flecker
Institute of Classical Archaeology
Schloss Hohentübingen
Burgsteige 11
72070 Tübingen

In collaboration with:
Soprintendenza di Pompei (Massimo Osanna)
Universität zu Köln (Manuela Broisch)
Manuela Broisch, Matthias Angenendt, Shabnam Moshfegh Nia, Christian Schöne, Linda Stein.

Funded by:
The Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities