1669427718 origin 1

The hungry sheep bring Pompeii back to ancient and traditional technology

origin 1A partial view of the archaeological site of Pompeii during the inauguration of the Antiquarium museum, in Pompeii, southern Italy, on Monday 25 January 2021. ©Gregorio Borgia/Copyright 2021 The AP. All rights reserved.

The ancient Roman city of Pompeii is one of the best-known archaeological ruins in the world. It is also now the site of an ecological experiment which brought in a flock of 150 sheep to maintain its many grassy areas

Gabriel Zuchtriegel is Director of the Archaeological Park of Pompeii. “Those who come to Pompeii discover that the city is not made up only of streets, domus and shops but also of vast green areas and these areas represent a cost for maintenance for us,” he says.

“And so this project that sees sheep as protagonists and is called ‘Pompeii Farm’ is actually part of a much larger project that has the ultimate goal of enhancing the entire agricultural area of ​​the Archaeological Park. As has already happened for other archaeological sites, this type of activity becomes useful for various reasons: because they serve to enhance these areas.”

Sheep help reclaim lawns at low cost or pollution. And unlike a lawnmower that leaves grass clippings to be disposed of, sheep eat the grass, recycle it and fertilize the lawn, which in turn protects against floods and droughts.

The eco-grazing activity is part of the broader Pompeii agritourism project that the Archaeological Park is implementing. It includes vineyards, olive trees and a Pompeian flora nursery, with the ultimate goal of creating socio-agricultural projects that boost the community and enhance the visitor experience.