THE SUBURBAN BATHS IN POMPEII: INNOVATIVE STRATEGIES OF CONSERVATION AND DIGITAL HUMANITIES FOR AN IMPROVED USE AND PERCEPTION
Keywords: Pompeii, Conservation, Suburban Baths, Archaeological heritage, Digital humanities, Improvement of fruition
Abstract. The paper aims to examine the results of an experimental research on the enlarged fruition and “communication” of Pompeii archeological heritage. The main focus of the research were the Suburban Thermal baths in Pompeii, the ancient Roman city buried during the Vesiuvus volcano eruption in 79 a.C. The Suburban Thermal baths are located within the Insula Occidentalis, a wide area at West of the old city of Pompeii. They have been a special entrance to the archeological site since the rediscovery of the ancient city. The Thermal baths area was neglected for a long time, but then it was included in the conservation project for Porta Marina and the superintendence offices, led by Amedeo Maiuri. However, these measures didn’t lead to in-depth, systematic studies, that were to be conducted only during the early ‘2000. Nowadays, new technologies can be helpful to convey the actual value of the big archeological heritage. In fact, they represent a real asset to show any transformation or restoration work, that made the thermal baths a peculiar, stratified artefact. The historical and artistic information have been reinterpreted in a more technological, contemporary language; therefore, the visitor has the opportunity to experience a more conscious and multilayer reading of the Pompeii thermal complex. In addition, in this paper will be examined new opportunities of collection, analysis and information sharing of the case study. A special focus will vert on how the conscious use of new technologies and storytelling may be the key to understand the material and immaterial traces of the Suburban Thermal baths.