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Heavily eroded due to a long permanence underwater, the head may be attributed to the iconography of an old bearded Silenus.

It is one of numerous sculptural elements, submerged by the sea due to bradyseism, that were found in 1972 along the banks of Puteoli, not far away from vicus Lartidianus, in the area where the marble workshop was located.

The artefact presents a characteristic form of degradation located on the forehead and chin. These are signs of bioerosion caused by boring Polychaetes (sea worms) that leave traces in a form of sinuous, U-shaped furrows. The head suffered from abrasive phenomena caused by marine sediments that partially smoothed the surface, causing a partial loss of its sculptural plasticity (though not compromising its legibility).

Davidde B., Ricci S., Poggi D., Bartolini M., 2010. Marine bioerosion of stone artefacts preserved in the Museo Archeologico dei Campi Flegrei in the Castle of Baia (Naples), Archaeologia Maritima Mediterranea; 7: 75-115.
Demma, F. (2010) ‘Scultori, redemptores, marmorarii ed officinae nella Puteoli romana. Fonti storiche ed archeologiche per lo studio del problema’, Mélanges de l’Ecole française de Rome. Antiquité, 122(2), pp. 399–425.

Ricci S., Sacco Perasso C., Antonelli, F., Davidde Petriaggi B., 2015. Marine Bivalves colonizing roman artefacts recovered in the Gulf of Pozzuoli and in the Blue Grotto in Capri (Naples, Italy): boring and nestling species. International Biodeterioration & Biodegradation (98) 89 – 100.

Ricci, S., Pietrini, A. M., Bartolini, M., Sacco Perasso, C., 2013. Role of the microboring marine organisms in the deterioration of archaeological submerged lapideous artifacts (Baia, Naples, Italy). International Biodeterioration & Biodegradation 82 (2013) 199-206.

Ricci S., Davidde B., Bartolini M., Priori G. F., 2009. Bioerosion of lapideous objects found in the underwater archaeological site of Baia (Naples). Archaeologia Maritima Mediterranea, 6: 167-188.

Zevi F. (cur.) 2009, Museo archeologico dei Campi Flegrei. Castello di Baia. Napoli: Electa Napoli, vol. 2, p. 56.

MUSAS Ref. No.BAI-037Inv. No.165478DimensionsHeight cm. 15MaterialsWhite marbleLocationArchaeological Museum of Campi Flegrei, room 36OriginQuay of Ripa Puteolana (1972)DatingImperial ageShare