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Anglo-American Project in Pompeii integrates a field school providing high quality training in modern archaeological practice with a major international research project. The program is based in the Bradford Pompeii Research Laboratory at the University of Bradford, England. The project is co-directed by Dr. Rick Jones and Dr. Damian Robinson, under supervision of the Soprintendenza Archeologica di Pompeii.

Getting to know the archaeologists
On 22 July 2002, met with Dr. Rick Jones, Anglo-American Pompeii Project Co-Director, on site to discuss volunteer possibilities. He explained the mission and objectives. These are to gather more data on the typical lives of the residents of Pompeii. Dr. Jones' team consists of over 100 members, including staff, managers, site supervisors, students and independent participants. Dr. Jones explained that normally volunteers aren't recruited, as the team is comprised of members who are involved mostly for the learning experience on a tuition basis. Allowing volunteers to gain the same learning experience for free would be unfair to the team. He did, however, offer me some time in one of the areas with a couple of personnel working nearby.

My first work day of direct involvement in excavations was 25 July 2002. I met the two investigators I would be working with: Site Supervisor Barry Hobson, an English medical doctor who retired from his medical profession to enter the archaeology field, and Arthur Stephens, an engineering consultant from Houston, Texas. Both are members of the project staff.

They briefed me on excavation objectives and the nature of the insulae (Roman tenements). They also provided training on the use of the various excavation methods including tools, soil collection, sifting, sorting objects, and placing finds in proper receptacles. I also learned about recording finds and closing out each stratigraphic unit (SU) for further study. I also received orientation on the use of the Dumpy level and how to lay a base line.

Hobson and Stephens had begun work in this archeological area before my arrival. As such, material had already been excavated. At least 10 stratigraphic units were complete.

 Excavation in Progress Galleries

© Raul Botello 2007