IM2 – 79 A.D. pyroclastic successions in archaeological sites of Somma-Vesuvius (southern Italy)


Paola Petrosino, University of Naples Federico II, Italy
Claudio Scarpati, University of Naples Federico II, Italy

Contact person:,

Type: Intra-Meeting
Duration: 1 day
Cost: € 120,00
Start: Rome (12th September 2019 – early morning)
End: Rome (12th September 2019 – late evening)
Difficulty level: Low
Participants: min 30 max 50

 IM2 - 79 A.D. pyroclastic successions in archaeological sites of  Somma-Vesuvius (southern Italy) | Intra-meeting Trips | IAS 2019 Rome
The ancient Pompeii and Somma-Vesuvius in the background

The field trip focuses on field features of pyroclastic deposits in two archaeological sites of the perivolcanic area of Vesuvius. We will use deposit characteristics to discuss transport and depositional mechanisms of Plinian events. The whole sequence of the pyroclastic deposits of the well-known 79 A.D. eruption will be observed and described at Pompeii or Herculaneum and Oplontis (a patrician villa located in the Torre Annunziata neighbourhood, also known as Villa di Poppea) archaeological excavations. The 79 AD sequence starts with pyroclastic fall deposit emplaced by the sustained column phase of the Plinian eruption embedded to minor pyroclastic density current deposits. Later pyroclastic currents aggraded massive to stratified deposits showing vertical and lateral facies variations. Both the sites offer the possibility to investigate the relationship between the types of pyroclastic deposits and their effects on Roman buildings and victims, and starting from the respective destructive power, supply some hints on present volcanic hazard assessment. Moreover, both the sites will put the visitors in touch with the life in the Vesuvian area during Roman age.


Rome-Naples-Rome (bus)

Technical Information

The fieldtrip is devoted to show several outcrops inside the archaeological areas, so only easy walks are planned. Expected weather conditions are sunny and hot, so light cotton clothing is recommended. No hammering or sampling allowed!