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Artifacts and Archaeological Processes: The Lives and Afterlives of Objects in Pompeii
April 7, 2022 @ 5:30 pm CDT Central Time
507 S. 9th Street
Columbia, MO 65211 United States
Sponsored by: Archaeological Institute of America
AIA Society: Central Missouri (Columbia)
Lecturer: Catherine K. Baker
From the chipped corners of an ancient die to the mortar on a reused inscription, artifacts tell stories. Archaeologists reconstruct these object biographies, tracing the lives of ancient artifacts from their creation to their final deposition. In this talk, I explore the stories of some of the artifacts excavated by the Pompeii Archaeological Research Project: Porta Stabia (University of Cincinnati), including dice and gaming pieces, statuettes, tools of potters, and even nails. These object biographies shed light not only on the way people first used these objects, but on their afterlives – the ways in which objects were discarded, recycled, and reused. These lives and afterlives of objects, in turn, shape the archaeology of a site, allowing us to trace the complex patterns of use, reuse, and discard which characterized the history of one neighborhood in the Roman city of Pompeii.
Short bibliography and/or website on lecture topic (for lay reader):