Monday, October 31, 2011

Helping out at Pompeii

Helping out at Pompeii | Wessex Archaeology

As Britain moves into another tempestuous Autumn/Winter with our staff employed on numerous wet watching briefs and muddy evaluations we thought it would be a good opportunity to report on some of the research work conducted by our staff in more exotic (and sunnier) locations around the world this year.

The Forum at Pompeii Daniel Jackson, one of our archaeologists based in Rochester, spent part of the summer working with the Via Consolare Project, a multinational team researching the ancient city of Pompeii, Italy. The VCP have been working in Pompeii since 2005 recording and analysing two important, and often overlooked, areas of the city. This year the focus of the research was Insula VII, 6, a city block close to the main forum of Pompeii which was heavily damaged during the Second World War.

Surveying the excavations in the front rooms of two shops in Insula VII.6 Using a combination of geophysical survey, historic building recording and targeted excavation the team have been able to reveal a large amount of information about the development of the area as well as providing an important permanent record of the current condition of the remains. The research has demonstrated that although the structural remains in the area were very badly affected by the bombing the subsurface stratigraphy appears to have remained well preserved. The investigations have produced important new information regarding not only the final phase of the city, prior to the eruption of Vesuvius in 79AD, but also the development and evolution of this key central area.

Wessex Archaeology is fully supportive of staff continuing academic research as it is often through this interaction between the commercial and academic communities that new techniques and technologies are developed and improved. By taking advantage of these advances in archaeological computing and fieldwork we can work more efficiently and offer innovative high tech solutions to our clients.