Buried by the 79 AD eruption of Vesuvius and rediscovered in the 1750s, the Villa dei Papiri in Herculaneum is one of the best-preserved ancient Roman villas. This expansive waterfront home of Rome’s elite contained bright wall frescoes, bronze and marble statues, delicate mosaics, and a library of over one thousand papyrus scrolls that were uniquely preserved by the volcanic debris. The Villa dei Papiri is also the model that J. Paul Getty used for his Malibu museum, now home to the Getty’s antiquities collection.
In this episode, curator Ken Lapatin and conservator Erik Risser discuss the exhibition Buried by Vesuvius: Treasures from the Villa dei Papiri at the Getty Villa, which brings sculptures, papyri, frescoes, and other artifacts from the Villa dei Papiri to Malibu.
Growing up in the UK, Ian Hodder was surrounded by artifacts of ancient societies. He participated in his first organized archaeological dig in his hometown of Cambridge at the age of 13, and since then he has worked at archaeological sites around the world. Over his long career, he has pushed the field in important new directions, promoting ethnoarchaeology (the study of the relationship between material culture and people) in the 1970s and 80s and more recently exploring how digital tools can further archaeological research and knowledge sharing.
In this episode, Hodder discusses his training, his decades-long work at the Turkish site of Çatalhöyük, and his recent Getty Foundation–funded project, Çatalhöyük Living Archive.