Dr. Lorenzo Fergola
The excavation sites of Oplontis are located in the middle of the modern town of Torre Annunziata.
The only documentary evidence of the name Oplontis is in the Tabula Peutingeriana, a medieval copy of an ancient map of the roads existing in Italy at the time of the Roman Empire. The place name of Oplontis applies to a few buildings situated between Pompeii and Herculaneum.
Hence, a series of archaeological finds have been ascribed to Oplontis which in fact relate to a suburban area of Pompeii. They consist of a residential villa, known as the villa of " Poppea "; a rustic villa thought to belong to L. Crassius Tertius in which a large quantity of gold and silver coins, along with a wealth of exquisite jewellery, were found lying next to numerous bodies of eruption victims; and thermal baths situated in the Oncino area, underneath the present Terme Nunziante Spa, which A. Maiuri has attributed to the consul M. Crassus Frugi.
The main monument, which is the only site open to visitors and listed by UNESCO as a “World Heritage Site”, is the villa of Poppea. This grand residential building, originally constructed in the mid-1st century BC, was extended during the Imperial Period and was undergoing renovation work at the time of the eruption. It is attributed to Emperor Nero’s second wife, Poppaea Sabina, but belongs more generally to the imperial family’s estates.
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