The Society is proud to be able to support the restoration and enhancement of the Custodian's Room in the shrine of the Collegium of Augustales.

Custodian's Room Exterior
Exterior of the Custodian's Room.
Help us gain access!
Photo courtesy of Michael Binns


The Collegium has a small room in one corner. In it there is a bed, and on the bed the skeleton of a young man of about 20 was discovered by Amedeo Maiuri in 1961. Dubbed 'the custodian', he is one of the few victims of the eruption known before the excavations of the 1980s. As reported in Herculaneum Archaeology 25 this is the man whose brain matter was turned to glass by the eruption. The room has been closed to the public for many years. The project involves bioarchaeological investigation of the remains, restoration of the room, and development of aids for visitors including an ‘augmented reality’ experience of the ancient building, its furnishings and decorations (using 3D visors). Perfect replicas of the skeleton and bed will be made with microscopic scanning and 3D printing, and the face of the custodian will be reconstructed using modern forensic techniques. A short documentary film in Italian and English will record the progress of the project and explain the research to the public. Apart from creating a great visitor experience, this research will enable many exciting discoveries about ancient life.

The overall cost of the project is approximately €180,000 which will be met by a combination of private donations, government funds and the income generated at the Archaeological Park of Herculaneum (Parco Archeologico di Ercolano), whose world-class archaeologists and scientists will carry out the project. We have so far raised almost €60,000 from private donations. The more we raise, the greater the chances that the Park's bid to the Italian Ministry of Culture will succeed; in the event that Park funds are needed, our donations will not only ensure this project is prioritised but will help the Park meet the many demands on its funds. Please support us by clicking on one of the two buttons below. Debit/credit card payments are possible on both, or you can use your personal PayPal or CAF account. If you're eligible, please increase the value of your donation by 25% through Gift Aid. Many thanks!