87654 - Archaeological Sites around Vesuvius (1) (LM)

Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Quality education Climate Action

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course unit students will tools for an integrated approach to the study of the archaeological sites around Vesuvius, attentive to their specific nature of historic sites, which have their status as the best sample of classical archeology, not because of their real excellence in the ancient world, but because of the fate and their exceptional material preservation. Students will demonstrate critical consciousness about the “vulgata” and to develop a self-sufficient ability to review their “topoi”, enabling them to read the Vesuvian archaeological sites back to their actual nature as privileged case-study, but not as a benchmark of universal value. At the end of the course students will be able to orientate themselves in the rich scientific literature, to identify potential research topics, to independently design a circumscribed research project and to elaborate the results in an original form, both oral and written.

Course contents

Beginning: 22/03/2022

Tuesday, 11-13 h, Aula Fumagalli, San Giovanni in Monte

Wednesday, 17-19 h, Aula Gualandi, San Giovanni in Monte

Friday, 11 - 13, Aula Fumagalli, San Giovanni in Monte

EXTRA MOENIA. Rural settlement and housing culture in Vesuvian region

The course explores the territorial reality of the Vesuvian area, well known but still poorly investigated and studied.

After an introduction about the status quaestionis, it will follow the analysis of some specific realities conducted by various groups of research (Oplontis Project, Restoring Ancient Stabiae,...) or in regard to Villa Sora project (2016 -), the most recent project of Vesuviana program (1997 -), lead by Bologna University.

I - Introduction: methods, aims, cases-study.

II - History of discoveries, researches and studies: status quaestionis and research perspectives for the future

III - Litterary sources: the ancient writers about living "in villa".

IV - Iconographical sources

V - Archaeological evidence: documentation, materialities, taxonomies.


Students who attend at least 75% of the lessons are considered to be attending.


For students attending the course:

  2 of the following books:

1) Oplontis: Villa A (“of Poppaea”) at Torre Annunziata, Italy. Volume 1. The Ancient Setting and Modern Rediscovery, ed. by John R. Clarke and Nayla K. Muntasser, c2014 © The Oplontis Project [http://www.oplontisproject.org] OPEN ACCESS


2) Oplontis: Villa A ("of Poppaea") at Torre Annunziata, Italy. Volume 2. The Decorations: Painting, Stucco, Pavements, Sculptures, ed. by John R. Clarke and Nayla K. Muntasser, 2019 © The Oplontis Project [http://www.oplontisproject.org] OPEN ACCESS


3) S. De Caro, La villa rustica in località Villa Regina a Boscoreale. Rome, G. Bretschneider, 1994.

4) Apolline Project vol. 1: Studies on Vesuvius’ North Slope and the Bay of Naples, ed. by G.F. De Simone – R.T. Macfarlane, Napoli 2009 (Università degli Studî Suor Orsola Benincasa Napoli – Brigham Young University)


For students not attending the course:

the previous titles and

 - H. Mielsch, La villa romana, Firenze, Giunti, 1999


Teaching methods

Frontal lessons with a great use of images (at the end of the course they will be provided in pdf documents);

seminars (presence is not mandatory);

lessons and conferences lead by professors from others universities or italian and international institutions.

At the end of the course (probably in May) a trip will be organized.

Assessment methods

Students who attend at least 75% of the lessons are considered to be attending.

The evaluation consists in an oral exam (questions about general or specific themes, recognition and description of monuments using photos and plans). It intends to evaluate:

knowledge and critical comprehension of the lessons contents and bibliography,

ability to relate some themes treated during the course,

written work or works,

fundamental notions of the discipline.

For attending students final exam will be aimed to verify the student's knowledge of the themes discussing during frontal lectures (only for attending students) as well as those treated in the program's texts.

Non-attending students will have to take an oral final exam about the themes treated in the program's texts.

The assessment will concentrate particularly on the skill displayed by the student in handling the sources and material in the exam bibliography and his ability to find and use information and examples to illustrate and correlate the various themes and problems addressed in the course.

The assessment will thus examine the student's:

- factual knowledge of the subject;
- ability to summarise and analyse themes and concepts;
- familiarity with the terminology associated with the subject and his ability to use it effectively.

Top marks will be awarded to a student displaying an overall understanding of the topics discussed during the lectures, combined with a critical approach to the material and a confident and effective use of the appropriate terminology.
Average marks will be awarded to a student who has memorized the main points of the material and is able to summarise them satisfactorily and provide an effective critical commentary, while failing to display a complete command of the appropriate terminology.
A student will be deemed to have failed the exam if he displays significant errors in his understanding and failure to grasp the overall outlines of the subject, together with a poor command of the appropriate terminology.

Foreign students will have the possibility to hold a written exam in the form of short questions: answers in English, French and Spanish are accepted.

Individual works and reserches could be done in one of these languages as well; however, the discussion will be in Italian.

Teaching tools

Video presentations (at the end of the course they will be available in pdf form).

Office hours

See the website of Antonella Coralini