13 October 2011

Casa del Menandro Model Complete

After 5 months of work, the model of the Casa del Menandro is finally complete. Who knew that attempting to recreate every minute architectural detail of an incredibly complex structure would be so time-consuming? Now that the thing is finished, however, I have to say that I’m pretty pleased with it. The model has been constructed in two different forms: one with boundaries and one without. A video of the unbounded model can be found below -- it contains a few moments in which the program had a difficult time rendering the shading correctly, but otherwise it turned out pretty well.

And here are some images of the bounded version:

One thing that I have definitely learned regarding SketchUp: it does not like irregular plans/structures. And because the plans of most Pompeiian houses are not orthogonal, the process of linking walls/floors/roofs together can prove to be very, very difficult. If someone out there happens to know how to model irregular/multi-planar shapes in SketchUp without using multiple triangles or polygons, I would certainly be interested in learning about the technique!

23 September 2011

Classics PG Seminar

For folks in and around Edinburgh: I will be giving an expanded version of the EAA paper in the first meeting of this year's Classics Postgraduate Seminar Series on Thursday, October 13th. The talk will start at 5 PM in the Meadows Lecture Theatre, Old Medical Quad. A full schedule of this semester's seminars is available here

4 July 2011

EAA 2011 Paper

Just a quick note to inform those who might be interested: I will be giving a paper at the European Association of Archaeologists annual meeting in Oslo this September. The tentative title is "Rethinking the Pompeian House: A Functional Model"; it's currently situated in the 2nd General Session (devoted solely to classical archaeology, I believe). This paper is essentially the culmination of some ideas that have been floating around my head for a while now. I've been troubled by the over-reliance on the architectural/textual models that have long provided the foundation for the study of houses at Pompeii for some time, and, utilizing my data in concordance with recent artefactual analyses, have been toying with some new techniques that may allow for a reconsideration of the use of domestic space from a functional (rather than aesthetic/architectural) perspective. 

8 June 2011

Modeling Menander

At the moment, I’m in the middle of constructing a Sketchup model of the atrium and peristyle in the Casa del Menandro, and it’s proving to be a task far more daunting than I had anticipated. Because many of the 3D models built to represent houses at Pompeii have fallen into the trap of excluding doors and partitions from the doorways (this seems to be a universal oversight), I’m trying to put together a model that will more accurately represent the functionality of these features in domestic space. But, being a bit of a perfectionist, I’ve found myself attempting to recreate the architectural design of the house in ridiculous detail (one should only spend so many hours crafting dentils on the pediment of a lararium); it’s a bit hard to know where to stop. Nonetheless, even in this early phase, the model is starting to look pretty cool. And though I haven’t constructed any of the doors yet, it appears that this could prove to be a useful tool for reassessing the importance of boundaries in the “public” parts of the house. Here are some  screenshots of the model in progress:



Fauces and beyond

22 April 2011

A long-overdue update

Many exciting things have been happening in the world of the DPHP, so I thought that I would (finally) update the blog. It has been a rather busy spring, to be fair, so I will perhaps draw on the hectic schedule as an excuse for the delay. At any rate, here are the important recent developments:

1. The TRAC 2010 Proceedings volume will be released within the next couple of weeks, so if you are interested in learning about the results of the DPHP's first phase (and would like to read a variety of other  papers, as well), it's available for pre-order from Amazon and directly from Oxbow.

2. The Privata Luxuria workshop was very successful: the range of interesting talks coupled with energetic discussion raised many thought-provoking topics relating to privacy in the Roman house. I certainly came away from it with new perspectives on a variety of issues, many directly related to my own work. Many thanks to Anna Anguissola for organizing the panel and to all of the contributors for their compelling papers. Incidentally, a proceedings volume is scheduled for publication by the end of the year as part of the Münchener Studies zur Alten Welt series through Utz Verlag. More details on this as they become available. 

3. Finally, I spent the last month conducting architectural studies at a variety of sites around the Mediterranean, from Delos to Glanum, and obtained some exciting results. This was the unofficial "third phase" of the DPHP, which will provide comparanda for the data obtained at Pompeii and Herculaneum. 

So, that's a basic summary of project-related goings-on at the moment. Now that primary fieldwork is complete, and the data has been fully processed, it's time for the writing of the dissertation to begin. I may have a couple of papers in the works, as well; again, I'll update the blog (hopefully more regularly) as the details of these become available.

13 January 2011

University of Munich workshop

I will be presenting a paper entitled The Form and Function of Boundaries in the Campanian House as part of a seminar focusing on the relationship between public and private space in Roman houses (Privata Luxuria. Towards an Archaeology of Intimacy). This paper will consider the ways in which boundaries influenced the construction of private space in the houses of Pompeii and Herculaneum, utilizing data collected from the 2010 DPHP field season. The workshop will be held on March 24th and 25th, 2011 at the University of Munich.