• Name: Paul McLerran
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Thursday, January 27, 2005

Dig Spotlight: Starting Again in Ancient Pompeii

Most of us are familiar with the tragic and dramatic story of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D. and the resulting destruction, yet paradoxical preservation, of one of the best known ancient cities of the Roman world........Pompeii. Few settings can rival the ruins of ancient Pompeii in terms of the richness and wonder of the architectural and artifact remains. We may say that, archaeologically speaking, investigations have run their course.......and we would be wrong. Under the Directorship of Dr. Gary Devore of Stanford University and Dr. Steven J.R. Ellis of the University of Sydney, a new project has begun to add to our understanding of urban development near the entertainment and theater district of the ancient city. Entitled the 'Pompeii Archaeological Research Project: Porta Stabia' (PARP:PS), it aims to uncover the structural and occupational history of the south east corner of "Insula VIII.7" (a section of the city), from its earliest origins through to 79 A.D. Through a series of selective excavations, structural analyses, and geophysical surveys, PARP:PS is expected to produce a complete analysis of the shops, workshops, inns, and houses. Relatively little archaeological research has been carried out in this area. What makes this doubly exciting is that the 2005 season will be the first season of excavation for the Project.

All participants will be enrolled as students in the field school and will be trained in modern techniques of excavation, recording, and archaeological analysis. The team will be housed in modern apartments in Pompeii, and each apartment contains a kitchen, lounge, private bath, and balcony with a view of either Mount Vesuvius or the modern town. Lunch will be provided for the entire team each working day on site, and the students will receive a weekly stipend toward other meals each week. One can choose to dine in one of modern Pompeii's many local restaurants, or use the apartment kitchens.

Guided tours of nearby archaeological sites, such as Herculaneum, and the collection of Pompeian artifacts in the Naples museum will also be part of the program. A series of seminars will be held, covering Pompeian studies, archaeology, and the history of the Vesuvian region. Academic credit will be available to all participants.

The Field School begins July 2 and ends August 6.

More information!


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