This is a fascinating map of the Ruins of Pompeii, published in Naples during an era of important discoveries in the classical age of archeology. The map shows the extent of extensive excavations to the ancient city, covering about four-fifths of what has now been exposed.
The map shows, in fine detail, the many walls, edifices, streets, buildings, and monuments that have been unearthed. An index on the left of the map lists nighty structures that have been identified, including the amphitheater, the temples of Apollo, Meleagro, Castor and Pollux, Adone, and several important houses such as the House of the Labyrinth.
This map was published in the time period of the excavations directed by Giuseppe Fiorelli, whose work on Pompeii is considered the most important of the 19th century. After a lull in interest, the excavation of Pompeii became an important cultural project in Europe in the second half of the 19th century. In all, this is a great antique map of an even older city.
Victor Steeger also produced a book entitled The Most Beautiful Walls of Pompei. This work was separately published.
In the upper right corner is an inset map of the Pompeii region with Roman cities labeled.
Following the eruption of Pompeii in AD 79, there was relatively little investigation of the site until the 16th century, and it lay forgotten and untouched. In 1592 architect Domenico Fontana ran into ancient walls covered with paintings and inscriptions while digging an aqueduct, but it does not appear that he publicized his discoveries.
Other minor finds were dismissed over the next century and a half. Nearby finds indicated the Pompeii might be locatable, and Charles III (ruler of Naples and later King of Spain), took particular interest in the project. Spectacular finds were discovered, and by 1763 an inscription was discovered that identified the city as Pompeii. This early progress would be built upon during the French occupation.
Excavations continued sporadically through the 19th century. Despite a lack of funds, some significant finds were discovered. Giuseppi Fiorelli's takeover of the operation in 1863 would mark a turning point when major progress occurred. Seven hundred workers were dedicated to the task, and scientific documentation of the city helped to better understand the discoveries. It was also Fiorelli who realized that the gaps sometimes discovered in the ash and sediment were human remains. He decided to fill in the gaps with plaster, allowing for the powerful preservation of the bodies as seen today in areas such as the "garden of the fugitives."