PARP:PS is advancing the latest theoretical and methodological approaches in Roman archaeology by using modern digital technologies to help systematically unravel the structural and social history of a non-elite Pompeian neighborhood. The buildings chosen for excavation line one of the major thoroughfares of Pompeii, just inside one of its gates (the Porta Stabia).ÂÂ ÂÂ Even so, no stratigraphic excavations have ever taken place here since they were first cleared of volcanic debris – then left to be consumed by vegetation – just over a century ago.ÂÂ ÂÂ Our intention is to study the buildings as a group – as a neighborhood – and to monitor how developments from one building affected, or were limited by, its neighbor.ÂÂ ÂÂ To penetrate the history of Pompeii in such a way is unusual in the tradition of Pompeian studies, and to focus on the development of a working-class city block especially so.ÂÂ ÂÂ An essential aim of the Project is to contextualize the results into broader Pompeian and, especially, regional economic and social histories.
The Archival Research
Preliminary results of this research were presented in a poster titled: “Disinterring a Pompeian Middle-Class Neighborhood,” which received the 2013 Best Poster Award at the Archaeological Institute of America’s Annual Meeting (Seattle).
Final results will be presented in the first volume of the final publication of the Project.
The Architectural Survey
PARP:PS is at the cutting-edge of technological applications in archaeological methodology.ÂÂ ÂÂ For example, the team is fully equipped with iPads, meaning that all of the data collected in the field is done so using streamlined digital methods.ÂÂ ÂÂ The use of digital technology trench-side, instead of scribbling notes into paper notebooks or drawing architectural plans in pencil on mylar boards, which have to later be digitized and data-entered, ensures the information is more accurate, more easily acquired, faster to produce, and links directly through an on-site server to the Project’s central database.ÂÂ ÂÂ These new methods, and indeed the philosophies behind them, are helping to revolutionize archaeological field-work.
The Geophysical Survey
In collaboration with theÂÂ British School at Rome, the Project has undertaken a comprehensive geophysical survey of the neighborhood to locate various subterranean architectures in areas that we have not, or could not, excavate.ÂÂ ÂÂ Some of the features and ‘anomalies’ revealed by these surveys have subsequently been uncovered by our later excavations.ÂÂ ÂÂ The geophysical survey has therefore enabled the further integration of the subterranean archaeological record into the surrounding, and complex, urban landscape.
The Material Culture
The archaeological excavations of this large district of Pompeii have produced many tens of thousands of objects, both artifactual and ecofactual: from the usual ceramics, coins, and animal bones, to wet-preserved fabrics, charcoal, and mineralized seeds. 5mm mesh sieves are used to screen all material recovered from the excavations. Select deposits undergo flotation sampling for the recovery of the biological remains. ÂÂ The analyses of these objects are enabling us to determine the changing functional use of space over time, as well as changes in the use and adaptation of the local and regional environment.
The Conservation Effort
The Project is committed to the conservation of the material record.ÂÂ ÂÂ In collaboration with the Soprintendenza Archeologica di Pompei, and under the direction of Alison Whyte (Oriental Institute, Chicago), the Project operates a conservation laboratory at Pompeii for the appropriate long-term storage and protection of the most fragile objects.
|Last Updated on Wednesday, 30 September 2015 15:50|