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Raw clay pots from Pompeii workshop found

Archaeologists say they have found the remains of dozens of pieces of pottery in their raw clay form in what was once a ceramics workshop near ancient Pompeii's Herculaneum gate.

Raw clay pots from Pompeii workshop found

The vessels, sealed under ash from the fiery eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD, have been catalogued for study by scholars interested in the daily life of Pompeii, including numerous artisanal workshops.

The office of Italy's superintendent of archaeology is working on the project in collaboration with scholars at the Centre Jean Bérard and École Française de Rome.

The find has been called "surprising" and provides more insights into daily life in the city of Pompeii just before disaster struck, preserving the entire ancient city in ash.

The clay vessels, which were to be used as drink or food containers, are the result of work just outside the ancient city walls near the Herculaneum gate where it is believed workshops and even cemeteries were located.

The furnace was discovered in 1838 and the space nearby is believed to be a working room for creating pottery and described as important to the understanding of ceramic techniques of the period.

In a separate workshop, two furnaces were found and are also thought to have been used for producing fine ceramics with thin surfaces.

Archaeologists continue to uncover significant finds at Pompeii, a UNESCO World Heritage Site where the European Union has devoted 105 million euros for a major restoration program called the Great Pompeii Project.

The Italian government has said it faces "a national challenge" to make the most of that money to safeguard the unique site that has faced numerous environmental and political threats over the years.

In April, for example, heavy rains led to several reports of collapsed walls, soon after UNESCO warned that the miraculously preserved ancient city could "completely fall apart" and lose its world heritage status unless urgent action was taken.

Source: ANSA [October 28, 2014]

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