So, am on way to Pompeii having just avoided hell at Roma Termini station. Tourists have descended and the Italians are ripe for their holidays. Coupled with the fact that there was some incident at the other main line station in Rome I apparently caught the last train headed south for… well who knows how long. All is dealt with in a manner of utter chaos. Welcome to Italy.
From the air conditioned luxury of the fast train to the smell and grime of the local tonker-toy train to Pompei Scavi ( Pompeii Excavations). I spent 4 years living in this area when I worked on the BSR Pompeii Project directed By Professor Andrew Wallace-Hadrill, and I still get a buzz when I return. Being amidst the tones of the Neapolitan dialect fills me with fond memories.
Next, to meet up with Dr Steven Ellis and Dr Eric Poehler who have devised a revolutionary approach to archaeological recording. One that is paperless. Using only iPads on site to record all aspects of excavation and wall recording they are pushing the boundaries of technology, apps, and even the way of thinking of how to record archaeology. But for the moment I am stuck on a platform with the stale stench of urine and cigarette butts.
So made it to Porta Stabia on the south side of Pompeii to meet the lovely Dr Steven Ellis. Not a trace of sweat on his brow despite finding him hard at work backfilling one of their trenches. Do like excavation directors who get their hands dirty. Then met up with the similarly lovely Eric Poehler in the Quadriporticus. His work on the standing building survey really fascinates me as it was what I did in Pompeii but using pencil and paper and incorporated no swish of the finger across an iPad screen. Brilliant discoveries by simply looking at walls always excites me. The simplicity of the technique but one that reveals the complexity of the story.
Obviously cannot divulge the new findings but suffice to say there are some and both PARPS:PS and the PQP team are delighted with their seasons work.
Now in true archaeologists fashion…. A cold beer is much needed.