Biographical Information on Pompeii
The catastrophic occurrence of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius covered Pompeii in the year 79 ad. Harcourt School Publishers have created a website dedicated to unraveling mysteries of the ancient world, and more specifically Pompeii. It shows what happened at that point in history from the beginning of the Volcanic eruption. There is also an animated graphic that shows the “Pliny” stage of eruption. That is the first part of the eruption where no lava flows, but smoke spews from the volcano. It is recorded that “In time the dust, ashes, cinders, and rocks settle back to Earth. In areas near the eruption, the amount of these materials can be enormous. During the first eight hours of the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD they fell on Pompeii to depths of 2 to 4 meters (8-10 feet). The heaps of small rocks that landed on the houses caused the roofs to collapse” (Harcourt Schools).
One house that was caught in the terrible eruption was the “House of Faun” (Harcourt Schools). Harcourt Publishers has recreated this house as a virtual tour of the past. It is quite astounding to go back in time to the days before the Vesuvius eruption to visit the great city of Pompeii, even if it is virtually. The tour begins with a show of the doors of the house. It states that the importance of the family could be determined by the size of its doors (Harcourt Schools).The House of the Faun is describes as a “huge house that takes up nearly a whole city block. The people who lived here were probably important officials. They would have to greet many people. This room [the first room of the house], called the Tuscan Atrium, would be used for that purpose.”
Another important part of Pompeii’s past is found through a study of Pompeii’s many art pieces. Several art pieces survived the blast of Vesuvius, and Harcourt Schools provides a few of these works for viewing in their art gallery. A very important piece that gives detail of how the people dressed and looked is called A Painting of a Man and a Woman. This painting “is probably a portrait of two important people of ancient Pompeii. It shows how realistic some of the paintings of ancient Roman times were. Artists of the Renaissance were inspired by paintings like these as they looked for ways to make their own paintings look more life-like” (Harcourt Schools).
Harcourt Schools really has helped to show Pompeii in a fascinating way by providing a student or anyone a look inside the world of Pompeii. This website is a really good learning tool for those who have a desire to learn about Pompeii, as well as a desire to enter a virtual environment.
Current Field Work in Pompeii
“The Anglo-American Project at Pompeii is based at the University of Bradford” (Anglo-American). It is a current project that runs each summer and offers students a chance to get excellent training on site while learning about the ancient city of Pompeii (Anglo-American).
Students are given extensive personal training during their stay at the field school with a fabulous teacher student ratio of 60 teachers to 50 students (American-Anglo). The field school has “a very high level of supervision and interaction for students with leading specialists. In addition to the excavators, architecture analysts and surveyors, the field team includes experts in ceramics, glass, archaeozoology, archaeobotany, sediments, archaeometallurgy, wall painting, and archaeological illustration. These specialists are a key part of the research effort of the Project and provide exceptionally good opportunities for Field School students to acquaint themselves with a very impressive range of archaeological expertise. There are plenty of opportunities to meet informally with members of the team, since we all live together in Camping Spartacus, as well as opportunities during the working day, and through more formal presentations in the evening the seminar program”(American-Anglo).
The purpose of the American Anglo Field School has been “studying complete archaeological methods through excavation and architectural analysis. This builds an unparalleled understanding block of the ancient city, applying the full range of modern of the social range of the ancient urban community and reveals how the urban fabric was create over five centuries. We have already completed investigation of the House of the Vestals, one of the largest and most luxurious houses in the city. There is clear evidence for the transformation of the townscape in the second century BCE, and for social inequality increasing from the first century BCE” (Anglo-American).
This is an awesome website that gives one a chance to see what goes into getting involved with a research group. It shows a very detailed account of the selection process to being invited to work at the Pompeii site, and a little history of the area and what has been done at the site.
Paul Wilkinson is a notable archaeologist in the area of Pompeii. He currently holds the post of Senior Project Manager (Athens.arch). He has conducted field research all over Europe. His interests include “urban archaeology (Europe); excavation techniques; early medieval and medieval history/archaeology; health and safety in archaeology” (Athens.arch).
He is also a writer who has written a captivating book on Pompeii’s last days. It is entitled Pompeii: Last Days. In this “dramatic account, archaeologist Paul Wilkinson pieces together a terrifying picture of what happened in Pompeii on a summer’s day in 79 AD. Using the latest scientific evidence and forensic techniques, he recreates that day hour by hour, bringing to life a vivid timetable of destruction. This fascinating, picture-filled book is the companion to the major Discovery Channel series, “The Last Day of Pompeii,” first broadcasting nationwide in January 2005.” (Trafalgar Books)
One does not have to go far to find Paul Wilkinson on the World Wide Web. He has made quite a name for himself, and has done some work with Discovery Television Channel. He is a big name in many of the field schools, and has made quite an impact on the world of archaeology in Europe and in general.
Athens Archaeology (2005) Archaeology Biography, Retrieved from the World Wide
Web at : http://athens.arch.ox.ac.uk/schoolarch/whoswho/list.phtml
Anglo-American Field Project, (2005) The Anglo-American Project in Pompeii,
Retrieved from the World Wide Web at:
Harcourt School, (2005) Pompeii: Unraveling Ancient Mysteries, Retrieved from the
World Wide Web at: http://www.harcourtschool.com/activity/pompeii.
Trafalgar Books, (2005) Pompeii: The Last Day, Retrieved frome the World Wide Web