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Fieldwork: Pompeii Food and Drink Project

The excavation site (called the scavi) is adjacent to the modern town of Pompei in southern Italy, about 25 km. from Naples, and 3 hours by train from Rome.

Team Members are divided into three groups: those who measure, those who draw, and those who photograph. Photography includes video, plus color and black/white. All team members aid in entering information into the computer database. No prior experience is needed; staff members will provide instruction.

Specifically, Team Members help with these tasks:

  • Measurement of designated features and of distances within structures with the use of surveying  tape and laser range finders.
  • Mapping and drawing of features.
  • Photos and videos. Video and digital cameras.
  • Maintaining daily log sheets for all these tasks, and entering the data into a computer database. Eventually, this database will be available on the Internet and in printed form.

Join us in 2020, our nineteenth year of on-site research, for one or two weeks. Everyone must pay a down payment of $500 upon signing up. Rooms at the hotel are reserved with this payment. Fees for returning Team Members are $1670 per week. Full payment must be made by March 1. Fees for new Team Members are $1770 per week. Full payment must be made by March 1. (The Scavi has assessed each hotel a 2 euro a day fee for all who stay. The project pays this assessment.) Bring your curiosity, and a desire to contribute to significant scientific field research.

Domestic Dining Room, House of L. Cissoncus Selondus

Domestic Dining Room
House of Calpurnius Diogenes


Fieldwork sketch showing measurements

Drawing, showing measurements

Fieldwork sketch showing measurements

Fieldwork sketch showing measurements

Morning Reasearch at the Scavi: 8:30 am - 1 pm

Team members will be assigned to one of the following teams. Assignments will rotate so that team members have a chance to participate in all activities.

Team 1: Reconnaissance Team

The Reconnaissance team, directed by the Principal Researchers and the Field Manager, locate and identify the structures to be studied each day.

Drawing TeamThe Principal Researchers identify features, spaces, and rooms in the structure associated with food and drink and dictate to team members a description of each of these. Each room or space and its features related to food and drink will then be measured, photographed, and entered into our database.

Team 2: Measuring/Drawing Team

The staff prepare scale drawings and plans of rooms and features identified by Team 1. Team members use surveying tapes and laser range poles.

Team 2Measuring distances within the structure and the dimensions of the features within it will help to reveal spatial relationships and patterns of usage to permit a better understanding of daily life in the city.

Team 3: Photography Team

Designated features and rooms are photographed with attention paid to the best angle, placement of the scale measure, and documentation in a log including details such as date, time, light, type of film, type of camera, etc. Digital cameras shoot the same room or space and food and drink features. The videographer speaks the PRS description and films rooms and features in sync with the digital camera pictures.

photography team

Afternoon Research: 2 pm - 4:30 pm

Following lunch, team members may be assigned one of the following tasks. Team Members may not be given an assignment and are then free to explore the surrounding sites.

Remediation Fieldwork

Team members will check whether areas of future research or areas due for re-examination are unlocked and available.

Photo Resizing & Archive Preparation

Digital photos are resized in preparation for inclusion in the database. Images are labeled and ordered and archived in the database.

Database Entry

All data recorded on the work sheets (the category of the structure, and the space or room within the structure, and food and drink features) must be entered into the database. Paper records and drawings must be scanned and linked to database topics, and photos must be downloaded from cameras and linked to the database. Team Members are given procedures for accomplishing these tasks.
Remediation is repeated documentation of a structure previously studied. A structure may need to be revisited due to improvements in technology or observational skills, more knowledge, or changes to the database.
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