A painting from Pompeii depicting a riot at the local amphitheater.
About the same time [59 AD] a trifling beginning led to frightful bloodshed between the inhabitants of Nuceria and Pompeii, at a gladiatorial show exhibited by Livineius Regulus, who had been, as I have related, expelled from the Senate. With the unruly spirit of townsfolk, they began with abusive language of each other; then they took up stones and at last weapons, the advantage resting with the populace of Pompeii, where the show was being exhibited. And so there were brought to Rome a number of the people of Nuceria, with their bodies mutilated by wounds, and many lamented the deaths of children or of parents. The emperor entrusted the trial of the case to the Senate, and the Senate to the consuls, and then again the matter being referred back to the Senators, the inhabitants of Pompeii were forbidden to have any such public gathering for ten years, and all associations they had formed in defiance of the laws were dissolved. Livineius and the others who had excited the disturbance, were punished with exile.
Hermes (the messenger god and the god of merchants and theives) with a huge phallus. You recognize Hermes by the small wings on his feet and the kerykeion (heralds staff).
It is important to remember that erotic/comic paintings were common in the ancient world. I must unfortunately admit that I do not know where this painting originate from (except that it is from the Campanian region, probably Pompeii).
We believe that these images were intended to protect people from the evil eye. The point was to avoid envious looks (sight was perceived as some sort of laser beams that would affect the person who got hit by them) and this was achieved by making people laugh, preferably by exposing them to a picture depicting a huge erected penis.
Here is a wonderful example on how the 2nd style might look. The scene depicts architectural elements, but there's no real plan and the perspective change from one part of the painting to another. We also have the small decorative elements of a peacock and a theatrical mask. This painting is to be found in the villa Oplontis and is dated to the early 1st century AD.
Casa dei Ceii is a small upper class house, with a tremendously interesting history, in Pompeii. Here we see the wall placed behind the small garden. The scene (and I tell you, it is huge, probably 5x5 m) was probably meant to make the room look bigger than it really is. Notice how close it is in style to some of the paintings at the Villi Oplontis (compare the small yellow area to the right with this painting from Oplontis).
It is also interesting to notice the small square holes in the wall - these are marks of shelfs being put up on the wall during antiquity. Now, this is one of the largest and most beautiful paintings in Pompeii. Why would anyone ruin it in this manner? We find similar refitting in other houses in Pompeii and there's also other evidence telling us that something wasn't quite right in the city at the time of the eruption. Something was going on during that last years of the city.
3rd style painting in Oplontis. The brick wall has been constructed to prevent the volcanic mud wall from collapsing.
I've never been excavating in Campania myself but this picture tells a lot about how it can be. Some areas, like Pompeii, were primarily buried by pumic stones - others by pyroclastic flows or mud.
How an area was buried determine how easy it will be to excavate it. The pumic stones are difficult to dig in as they keep on falling down in the trench again while the volcanic mud harden and turn into a concrete like material.
We also have to consider post-antique and modern constructions on top of the ancient remains. Thus we sometimes find ourself in a situation like this one: one part of the villa at Oplontis have been excavated inch by inch through a solid wall of mud (which preserved the spectacular decorations) until something at the modern ground level made it impossible.
This is simply how far we can get, even as we know for a fact that there are absolutely stunning finds just centimeters into the wall.
Central motif from Casa della Venere in Conchiglia. There are two things to notice about this picture; first of all that this kind of central motif is found in the so called 3rd style. Here we find a fantasy villa in miniature but animals are also common. Secondly, the colors - this beautiful red is found all over Pompeii and was obviously popular.
A fresco from Casa del Menandro. I believe that it is depicting Actaeon who is torn apart by his own dogs. (The story tells us that he was out hunting one day and saw, by mistake, Artemis naked while she was bathing. She turned him into a stag which his own dogs killed)
I suppose that you've already figured, but it's worth saying it again - fountains of this type is very common in Pompeii (and was probably common at least all over the central empire). Compare with the one posted a few days ago. This one is from House of the small fountain (Reg VI Ins 8.23).
The peristyle garden of Villa di Diomede. Notice the columns, how they are smooth and painted red at the bottom while the upper part is painted white, fluted. This is a Greek concept from the beginning, the smoothing of the lower part was due to the flutes being struck of by mistake when people walked into the columns. Making the lower part smooth was a practical solution.
This is the garden of the Casa della Venere in Conchiglia (House of Venus in the sea shell). Now, the garden is, of course, a modern reconstruction (and I don't know if it's based on finds or not) and the painting is a copy (I am quite sure that the original is at a museum). The point however, is to show how a garden might look with plants.