Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Archaeology of light

I am currently studying the ceramic oil lamps from the AAPP excavations in insula VI.1 and now have stratified assemblages from all the properties. I am due to start a PhD at the University of Leicester in October with Dr. Pim Allison and Prof. David Mattingly, with a focus on the social and economic impact of artificial light in the Roman world. The aim of this study is to assess the social and economic significance of the consumption of artificial light, testing the hypothesis that a reliable and affordable supply of fuel and lighting equipment was a major constituent in Roman urban living. Pompeii will be the main case study for this research.The study has three main objectives:1) Assess the underlying socio-cultural reasoning for lengthening the day.2) Identify the extent to which vibrant and diverse ‘after-dark’ economic activities contributed to urban growth.3) Estimate the scale of olive oil consumption for artificial light.I would be very grateful for any contributions to my research, and if anyone has any ceramic oil lamp assemblages from pre- AD79 stratified contexts, or any architectural data which would be helfpful, I would like to hear from you. I will be working in Pompeii for most of July this year if anyone would like to discuss my research. David Griffiths


Sarah Court said...

Have you thought about contacting Hella Eckardt? She worked on the University of Reading/BSR excavation at Pompeii, and is writing up the section on lamps - she did her PhD on the subject in fact.

Steven Ellis said...

The lamps for our excavations at the Porta Stabia (University of Cincinnati - are presently being written up by James Cook (Michigan). You are welcome to contact me if you want more information.
Steven Ellis

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