For summer 2023 I had the opportunity to participate in an excavation at Pompeii, the Pompeii I.14 Project supported by Tulane University and directed by Dr. Allison Emmerson. I joined the project as a ceramics specialist and had a wonderful experience as a member of the project. My work focused on sorting and documenting the many potsherds found on site. It was very rewarding to be able to build on my previous experience working with ceramics as well as gain new knowledge and become deeply familiar with the site’s pottery in a way I have not had the chance to do previously. I learned so much and encountered something new and interesting every day.
In addition to sorting the pottery and entering the basic information into the project’s database I also worked on drawing some of the better-preserved vessels in preparation for the project’s future publications. Instead of drawing on paper and transferring the sketches to a digital format as is traditional for pottery drawing, I completed my drawings directly on an iPad. There aren’t established techniques for this new drawing process so I spent many hours developing my own methods and thinking about the best ways to go about this work. It was enriching to take on such an innovative aspect of the project and then be able to share ideas with teammates and work together to continue refining our approach.
Overall, I enjoyed stepping into a role with greater responsibility and getting to recognize the progress I have made on my academic path. The CLST Research Travel Award assisted significantly in making this opportunity financially accessible to me. I am deeply thankful for this generous support, without which I could not have had the incredible experience that has contributed immensely to the growth of my intellectual development and my passion for exploring the ancient world through material culture.