• Name: Paul McLerran
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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Investigating Food and Drink in Ancient Pompeii

Most everyone has heard or read of the cataclysmic 79 A.D. volcanic destruction of ancient Pompeii. Because of the unique preservative effects of it's horrific burial, that ill-fated city has left a legacy of a civilization frozen in time, revealing structures, artifacts, human remains, and infrastructure features equaled in detail by few other ancient sites. Perhaps no other site has been documented as prolifically as this one.
As much as we already know about Pompeii, however, there is still much more to discover, many questions left to be answered. The daily life-ways and styles of this ancient people continue to be a subject of intense scrutiny. During the summer of 2011, a team of scholars, students and volunteers will contribute to this undertaking by conducting a detailed investigation of selected areas, features and structures with an eye toward shedding light on where, how, why, when and what these ancient Romans ate and drank. They will measure, photograph, record, draw, and analyze. The investigation will be totally non-intrusive. No excavation will be conducted. The objective of these investigations will be to acquire new insights on city planning and the development of healthy and sustainable urban environments for the future.

Joining the Team

Activities will be organized into three one-week sessions from June 19 to July 9, 2011. Generally, volunteers and students may participate in one, two, or all three sessions. Participants will stay in a small, family-run hotel with air-conditioned rooms, eating facilities, and a swimming pool. As part of the experience, participants will attend a series of lectures about the history and geography of Pompeii, as well as a guided walk of the city. A series of other lectures will be offered during the mornings and evenings on a host of other topics related to the culture, finds, and other subject areas. Each week the group will be taken to the Antiquarium di Boscoreale, a museum exhibiting the artifacts of Pompeii. Most importantly, team participants will be instructed in all methods and skills needed to conduct the vital data collection that will take place during the expedition.

This project will afford an excellent opportunity for student and volunteer alike to acquire new skills and an intense education in ancient Roman life and archaeology. If interested, see the website for detailed information about the expedition and how to apply.


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