Environmental Program Print E-mail
Written by Emily Holt   

emilysusanwaterThe Environmental Program of the Pompeii Archaeological Research Project: Porta Stabia seeks to understand the ancient city and its hinterland as an environment that is both human and natural, studying the implications for the economy, society, diet, and health of the city's inhabitants. Through the systematic recovery and study of faunal and botanical remains we are able to understand how the ancient Pompeians interacted with the other “inhabitants” of their urban environment; livestock, dogs, rodents, birds, household and garden pests, parasites, and pathogens all shared space with the citizens of Pompeii. The complex biological relationships that these species had with humans and with each other formed an urban ecosystem that affected every aspect of daily life.

In addition to living in the urban ecosystem, the citizens of Pompeii participated in larger, more dispersed environments that they influenced through their economic practices. The production and consumption of animal and plant resources in Pompeii itself, in the city's immediate hinterlands, and at regional and interregional levels involved the ancient Pompeians in the adaptation of preexisting environments for the purpose of meeting a variety of cultural, economic, and biological needs. Understanding the environmental foundation of ancient production and consumption is an essential component of understanding the economy of the Roman world from the level of the household to that of the Empire.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 25 May 2010 14:10
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