Thursday, April 7, 2011

Gabii Project 2011 field campaign approaches

After a long (and cold) winter in the United States, it hardly seems possible that summertime could be near, but it does, in fact, approach apace and the Gabii Project team is already hard at work planning another season of fieldwork. In some respects it seems as if the fieldwork of 2010 just concluded a few days ago ... nonetheless there is already a palpable anticipation as we begin to think of being in the field once more. The goals for this campaign center on the continued investigation of features revealed during the first two field campaigns (2009 and 2010), including the ancient city's grid of streets, an industrial zone, and a former area of occupation that transitioned to an ad hoc necropolis in the Imperial period. The investigations in various sectors will again be accompanied by environmental sampling and digital mapping. These threads, woven together, are contributing to the collection of a rich data set for the urban center of ancient Gabii and are already facilitating our study of the site and reconstruction and modeling of the ancient city. We are witnessing the potential of digital recording and modeling, both of which are changing not only procedures in the field but also granting new analytical opportunities. Major questions about Gabii remain, including the chronological trajectory of its rise as well as the onset of its contraction and eventual abandonment.

A look across the Ager Gabinus from July 2010.
The project will again offer its volunteer field program this summer, bringing student volunteers to the field to participate in all aspects of the excavation process. This season the team is once again multi-national and represents many institutions.  Those institutions represented include: the University of Michigan, Brown University, Davidson College, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of Auckland, Kalamazoo College, Stanford University, University of California Los Angeles, University of California Berkeley, University of Maryland Baltimore County, Bryn Mawr College, Carleton College, Oberlin College, Boston University, Harvard University, Washington and Lee University, and Williams College. The project will also again welcome graduate student participants from the Summer Program in Archaeology (SPA) sponsored by the American Academy in Rome. In 2011 the Gabii Project is pleased that its field program has been certified by the Register of Professional Archaeologists; we also have entered a partnership with the Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies (ICCS) in Rome and have several Centristi signed up to join us in the field. We plan more extensive blogging by staff and students this season, so join us in following those posts over at Ager Gabinus: dispatches from the field.

The project's directors always welcome your inquiries. Watch this space for continuing updates throughout the 2011 field season!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Nowlin presents at "Death, Decay, and Discovery"

J. Nowlin
Jessica Nowlin, Ph.D. student in the Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World at Brown University and a member of the Gabii Project's topography team, will present a paper as part of the upcoming symposium "Death, Decay, and Discovery: An interdisciplinary workshop on taphonomic approaches to understanding burial practice" on April 9, 2011. The workshop, organized by Brown University post-doctoral fellow Allison Davis, brings together mortuary archaeologists and taphonomists to discuss the utility of these approaches in answering larger archaeological questions. Nowlin's paper, "More than Pretty Pictures: The Use of Three-Dimensional Modeling in the Documentation of Funerary Remains" concentrates on the use of digital photogrammetry at Gabii for modeling funerary contexts. In 2009 Nowlin's work on digital models of sensitive  sub-Geometric elite tombs at Gabii has resulted, in part, in the forthcoming publication of said tombs in J.A. Becker and J. Nowlin. 2011. "Orientalizing Infant Burials from Gabii, Italy." BABESCH 86:9-21.