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Strongly damaged by lithodoms in the upper part, the pedestal was discovered in the XIX century in the waters of the Ripa Puteolana and bears an inscription dedicated to the emperor Hadrian from the residents of a vicus called Lartidianus. The said vicus had to be connected with the proprieties of the Lartidia gens in Puteoli, almost completely absent in the epigraphic documentation of the region of Campania, but known for the senator of the Augustan age, Sextus Lartidius from Pistoriae (Pistoia) or Tibur (Tivoli).

The text is full of details and allows for a better understanding of the topographical organisation of Puteoli. Moreover, it allows for locating the precise point of an important suburban neighbourhood in the extensive waterfront of Puteoli.


[Imp(eratori) Caesari]

[divi Traiani]

[Parthici filio]

[divi Nervae]

nepot(i) Traiano

Hadriano Aug(usto)

pontif(ici) maximo

trib(unicia) pot(estate) V̅ co(n)s(uli) I̅I̅I̅

inquilini vici


The position of vicus Lartidianus and other suburban vici along the quays of Ripa Puteoleana in the reconstruction by G. Camodeca.

The marble artefact presents conspicuous phenomena of bioerosion located mainly in the upper part, where the boring organisms created cavities and tunnels, causing a serious loss of sculptural plasticity.  The deterioration spots indicate that the artefact lied covered with sand for about the half of its height; the different density of perforations is a sign that the artefact was periodically and heavily covered by sand.

The most pervasive form of degradation is the one due to endolithic sponges (family Clionaidae), whose cavities are present on more than 80% of the surface of the artefact.  SEM observations returned traces and skeleton elements (tilostile spicules) attributable to a boring species named Cliona Celata Grant (an underwater photo of an alive specimen is provided below).  Boring bivalve molluscs played also an important role in the degradation, as there are perforations made by the species Lithophaga lithophaga (Linnaeus) and Rocellaria dubia (Pennant).

AE 1977, 0200

EDR076736 (G. Camodeca)

EphEp, 08, 360

Camodeca, G., 1977. L’ordinamento in regiones e i vici di Puteoli. Puteoli, 1, 1977, pp. 75 sgg.

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.

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.

MUSAS Ref. No.BAI-034Inv. No.320473DimensionsHeight: 150 cmMaterialsMarbleLocationArchaeological Museum of Campi FlegreiOriginRipa Puteolana, in front of the Armstrong shipyards (1890)Dating121 A.D.Share