Explore the archaeology and infamous history of the region of Mount Vesuvius, including its devastating eruption that fateful week in August of AD 79 preserving a glimpse into Roman life unequalled in all of antiquity. For over 400 years, explorers, then archaeologists, have toiled through many metres of volcanic ash and debris to uncover the great port communities of Pompeii and Herculaneum, as well as several fantastic villas. Topics include the eruption history of Mount Vesuvius; the history of the exploration of Pompeii, Herculaneum and nearby villas; recent archaeological discoveries; famous mosaics, fresco paintings, sculptures; luxuriant villas and their contents; garden archaeology; Campania's wines in antiquity, and daily life in Roman seaside resorts and ports.
By completion of this course, successful students will be able to:
- have a solid understanding of the history and exploration of the archaeological sites around the region of Mount Vesuvius and the Bay of Naples;
- have access to the best sources in English on the history and archaeology of the region, and understand the various debates that have arisen among scholars since the 18th century;
- appreciate the immense cultural heritage importance of the coastal region of Campania, Italy;
- plan a visit to the most important archaeological sites and restoration efforts as well as museums containing artefacts from the region of Vesuvius