The city of Pompeii was sealed in 79 A.D. by the eruption masses of Vesuvius at the Gulf of Naples in southern Italy. Thanks to this catastrophic event, Pompeii offers a unique set of data for the study of the urban fabric, various aspects of daily life and the economy and socio-ecology of an ancient city. This particular potential had been used by an interdisciplinary research project, which focused between 1997-2002 on one specific building lot. Works by the German Archaeological Institute in Rome and various partners included the documentation of standing structures and decoration, excavations into earlier building- and settlement-phases from 79 AD down to the Bronze Age, archaeobotanical and archaeozoological research, an epigraphic study, geophysical prospection and conservation measures. The study area consists of a large atrium-peristyle-house, the Casa dei Postumii VIII 4, 4.49, which is surrounded by various types of smaller units such as shops and workshops, shop-houses and upper-floor apartments, which might have belonged to the estate (insula) of the Casa dei Postumii. Located next to a busy crossroad in the city centre, the complex had been chosen since it allows the study of the multifunctional use of urban property in a diachronic perspective. This includes various kinds of social and economic activities, which left their traces in the architectural and archaeological record. With an interdisciplinary research-design and a primarily socio-economic approach towards Pompeian domestic architecture, the project was among the pioneers of this kind of research at the Vesuvian cities. Its preliminary reports and several articles reached a wide audience and stimulated further projects, but the lack of a final publication remains a desideratum. This is particularly true, since several aspects of the project – such as the spatial organisation of economic life – are still intensively debated topics.
The publication project is headed by Dr. Felix Pirson together with Jens-Arne Dickmann, with whom he jointly directed the field-project. The missing chapters of the publication as well as its final preparation will be provided by Pia Kastenmeier, who participated in the field-project as a student and has meanwhile developed an outstanding research-profile within the Archaeology of the Vesuvian cities.