William & Mary

Classics student wins Dintersmith fellowship

Megan ShulerI spent the summer here at William and Mary (mostly in Swem!), with the help of a Dintersmith Fellowship, conducting research for my Honors Thesis, which is provisionally entitled “Relicta: A Comparative Artifact Analysis and Other Roman Domestic Sites.” There has been a recent trend in Roman domestic archaeology to reject incorrect assumptions derived from textual and ethnographic analogy, as well as to integrate artifacts into the study of space. My research follows in the footsteps of people such as Penelope Allison, who is instrumental in these changes within the field, as well as Joanne Berry (artifact assemblage analysis), Andrew Wallace-Hadrill (extending focus from elite atrium-houses to all levels of Pompeian society), and others. In addition, I (again, following Allison) question the utility of Pompeii as an ideal case study of Roman life. I will compare case studies and general trends from this city with Karanis in the Fayyum region of Egypt, as well as a site from Roman Britain (hopefully Silchester; pending data). The summer research was immensely helpful; I was able to build my methodology and theoretical perspective, to read some general information about the various areas, and to begin to compile data on Pompeii, particularly the Casa dell’Effebo (a large atrium house), the Casa del Fabbro (an average house with copious artifacts), and House I, 10 1 (a modest dwelling). Due to the advanced preparation, I am making some preliminary conclusions, especially considering the use of large, open multi-purpose halls in all of my case studies. I have been (and will continue to be) blogging about my research at http://meshul.blogs.wm.edu/