HERCULANEUM
Destruction and Re-discovery
Oplontis and Boscoreale ( 1 2 )
Boscoreale
 
Exploratory excavations were carried out around Boscoreale at the end of the 19th century. These less than scientific excavations continued well into the 20th century, producing many artifacts that were subsequently carted off to collections around the world.

In this way about 30 villae rusticae have been re-discovered, although this can only be a fraction the large number of farmsteads that once populated the area.  Whilst frescoes, mosaics, and other 'treasure trove' were the goal of the excavators, the less glamourous fiinds, including farm buildings and implements are no less important historically.  These have provided invaluable information on the agricultural activities of the area, above all wine and olive oil production.
Villa Pisanella
 
This villa was excavated between 1895 and 1899 and is now re-buried.  It is basically split into two parts, the familly's living quarters decorated with frescoes in the third style and a working area made up of a bakery, a stable, presses for wine and oil and dormitories for the slaves.

The owner was perhaps Lucius Caecilius Iucundus, a banker from nearby Pompeii. 
 
In 1895 a 109-piece silver collection was discovered, consisting of a full table setting as well as a few diaplay pieces.  The silver had been hidden in a vat in the villa's wine press room (it can now be seen in the Louvre, Paris, having been donated by Count Edmond de Rothschild).
 
The cup pictured right displays some dark humour, as skeletons labelled with the names of noted philosophers act out scenes from life.  The inscription reads 'Enjoy life while you have it, for tomorrow is uncertain'.
Villa of Publius Fannius Synistor
 
The Villa of Publius Fannius Synistor was excavated in 1900 and gets its name from an inscription found in the building.
 
However, a second inscription, this time of one L. Herennius Florus, found on a seal, could equally testify to the owner's name.

On the north side of the
peristyle is an oecus whose entrance is flanked by winged figures.  Beside this is a cubiculum.

Magnificent frescoes in the
second style, like the one opposite, decorated the villa, but these were removed and can now only be seen in assorted museums dotted about Europe.
Villa of Publius Fannius Synistor
 
This villa dates to the 1st century B.C., although it was extended twice during imperial times.  It is made up of various rooms on three sides of an open courtyard.

The
triclinium was decorated with frescoes in both third and fourth styles, but it is the domestic rooms that are most interesting.  One room, where most of the household implements were found, was used as a storehouse and temporary kitchen; the actual kitchen, with brick oven and furnace, was out of use at the time of the eruption.

Also preserved were the wine press with its fixtures together with the crushing tanks.
 
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