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The Necropoleis


Roman cemeteries are to be found lining the roads leading to or away from cities. In the case of Pompeii, tombs are to be found outside all but one of the gates including the Nola Gate, the Herculaneum Gate, the Vesuvius Gate and, most spectacularly, the Nocera Gate (pictured left).

The necropolis outside the Nocera Gate consists of a series of tombs lining the Via Nocera.

There are several types of tombs to be found in the necropolis: chamber tombs, cube tombs, altar-shaped tombs, aedicule tombs, and these tombs range chronologically from the early Republican period right up to the last years of Pompeii.

In contrast to today’s cemeteries, which are set off from areas frequented by the living and rarely visited, Roman cemeteries were fairly bustling with activity.
As evidence of this, there are over 180 graffiti painted and scratched onto the Nocera Gate tombs, ranging from political slogans to adverts for games at the amphitheatre.
Among the many monuments are the tomb of L. Ceius Serapius, the tomb of L. Cellius, the mausoleum of Veia Barchilla, the tomb of Eumachia, the sepulchre of the gens Tillia (a family tomb), and the tomb of M. Octavius and his wife Vertia Philumina.
These texts provide a rare glimpse of life beyond the walls, and demonstrate that this cemetery was itself a distinct neighborhood, though one integrated with the city itself.

3D Views of the Tombs

3D views of the tombs to be found outside the Herculaneum Gate and the Nocera Gate (left) are available, courtesy of the Soprintendenza Archeologica di Pompei. Please see their site for details. Included here is the view outside the Herculaneum Gate.

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