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A male statue in white marble, accompanied by a dolphin serving as a support: it is a representation of the god Neptune found in the waters of the port of Baiae. The arms and the left foot were missing, but not the head, as it was stolen at a later time.

The sculpture, dating back to the II century A.D., was inspired by a much older Greek model of the V century B.C. and stands as another confirmation of the active presence of copyists’ workshops in Baiae.

The statue presents an extensive bioerosion caused by boring sponges, visible as minute holes on the outermost and better preserved layers and as sub-globular cavities in the innermost layers. The degradation covers approximately 80% of the artefact, with a considerable loss of stone material, e.g. on thighs, calves and abdomen. SEM observations highlighted also the presence of marble deterioration caused by endolithic microorganism like fungi and green microalgae.

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.

Zevi F. (cur.) 2009, Museo archeologico dei Campi Flegrei. Castello di Baia. Napoli: Electa Napoli, p. 139.

MUSAS Ref. No.BAI-014Inv. No.B.n.p. 000199MaterialsWhite marbleLocationArchaeological Museum of Campi Flegrei, anteroom 55OriginPort of Baia (1930)DatingII century A.D.Share