Update on CSAI’s Undergraduate Excavation Fellowship
Mon. September 30, 2013
The Center for the Study of Ancient Italy (CSAI) announced the CSAI Undergraduate Excavation Fellowship early in the spring semester of 2013. Open to all undergraduate Art History majors at The University of Texas at Austin, the fellowship was intended for a single fellow. After reviewing the applications, it became clear that there were two outstanding applicants, Hallie Brewer and Arjun Reddy. With the generous support of Jack Risley, Chair of the Department of Art and Art History, CSAI was able to offer fellowships to both of these outstanding students. The fellowships fully supported Hallie and Arjun to spend two weeks at CSAI’s excavation project (The Oplontis Project) at the ancient site of Oplontis, near Pompeii. The Oplontis Project is in the process of a large-scale study of two sites identified with ancient Oplontis and buried some 28 feet beneath the modern town of Torre Annunziata: Villa A (sometimes called the Villa of Poppaea) was designed for leisure, whereas Oplontis B was a busy distribution center for wine. Both fellows participated in all aspects of the project, including excavation, masonry analysis, ceramic study, wall-painting study, and archival work.
The students talk about their experience:
Hallie Brewer: “At Oplontis, my text-book knowledge was augmented by the empirical and physical experiences on the sites and by daily interactions with various experts. I was involved in all aspects of archaeological work, including fieldwork, post-processing of artifacts, analysis and preservation. This summer left me better informed and more competent in the field, and with a desire to continue my studies of Rome and Pompeii. Any future success I may achieve in the fields of Art History or Classical Archaeology will be, in large part, owing to my involvement with the Oplontis Project.”
Arjun Reddy: “I thought before the dig that archaeology was interesting and important, but, having no actual experience and only a vague knowledge of the workings of an excavation, I couldn’t say whether it was my plan to study archaeology for the rest of my life. I am now sure of that. I find excavation fulfilling enough and I care about it deeply enough to become an archaeologist, and this knowledge, though simple, is invaluable.”