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Weaving the Urban Fabric of a Roman City: Results of the Via Consolare Project in Pompeii

Date and Time: 
Thursday, November 1, 2018. 05:15 PM - 06:45 PM
Meeting Location: 
Archaeology Center, Building 500
Archaeology: Connectivity and Temporality, An Archaeological View
Meeting Description: 

Despite almost a century of sub-surface excavation at Pompeii, significant questions remain regarding the earliest history of the city and the processes involved in its urban development. Since 2006, the Via Consolare Project has tackled these issues through excavation in Insula VII 6 and the Villa delle Colonne a mosaico. Taken together, these two areas of the city provide a large-scale stratigraphic ‘slice’ through Pompeii along the axis of an important early street that stretches from the immediate suburbs to its central core. This talk presents recent results and on-going interpretations that serve to illuminate key aspects of urban life in Roman and pre-Roman Pompeii. Not only providing valuable data on the earliest history of the site, these excavations have also shed new light on the nature of interactions between private property and municipal construction in Roman cities, documented the long-term results of sound economic decisions by property owners, and revealed the deep interconnections that could exist between wealthy villa owners and the commercial businesses upon which their prosperity rested.

Professor Michael Anderson is a professor of classical archaeology at San Francisco State University and the Director of the Via Consolare Project. He earned his BA in history and his MA in archaeology from the University of California, Los Angeles, and completed his PhD in archaeology at the University of Cambridge. He has conducted primary archaeological research and excavation in Pompeii for over 20 years and was the field director of the University of Bradford (AAPP) excavations in Insula 6 1. He has authored numerous publications on Roman domestic space, ancient Pompeii, aspects of Roman urbanism, and the application of computer technologies in archaeology. His recent book, published by Oxbow in 2018, presents the full stratigraphic results of the AAPP excavations in the Casa del Chirurgo (House of the Surgeon).