Sponsored by: Gonzaga University
Dr. Jeremy Hartnett (Wabash College, IN)
Today publications of archaeological work abound with illustrations and photographs to the point that websites are dedicated to hosting the overflow from the print edition. And so it is easy to forget that, a little more than a century ago, photography offered a new and novel means of documenting excavations. There was no conventional means of using photographs. This talk examines the first large-scale deployment of the nascent technology at Pompeii – the pathbreaking work of Vittorio Spinazzola as he excavated a half-kilometer of just one street, the Via dell’Abbondanza, via careful stratigraphic excavation. How did Spinazzola document his progress and results via photos? How did those images relate to what had been done previously in other media, such as painted representations? Which images made it into print, which were left on the cutting room floor, and why? How did photography serve Spinazzola’s campaign to trumpet his own innovations? Ultimately, how have Spinazzola’s choices come to shape scholarly approaches to this city and its spaces? And what can we learn about the process of both conducting archaeological projects and publishing them from this example? Abundantly illustrated with fascinating archival photographs, this talk will seek to address these questions and more.