Pompeii Artifact Life History Project (PALHIP)

Project Overview

The Pompeii Artifact Life History Project, or PALHIP, is a long-term research project being undertaken by a team from the University of California, Berkeley under the direction of J. Theodore Peña (JTP) with the authorization of and in coordination with Soprintendenza Speciale per i Beni Archeologici di Pompei, Ercolano e Stabiae.  

The project’s aim is to elucidate various aspects of the life history of portable artifacts (principally pottery, glassware, and objects manufactured in iron, bronze, lead, stone, and bone) at Pompeii and certain other locales in the town’s environs through the analysis of selected groups of materials excavated in the past by other projects.  The analysis of each of these groups of materials is represented as a sub-project within the larger project framework.  

The PALHIP team, which generally numbers between three and five persons, completed a cycle of five 5- to 6-week summer study seasons during the period 2012-2016, and at the time of writing (August, 2019) has completed two years of second five-year cycle projected to extend through 2022.

The team's work has focused on documenting the makeup of assemblages and the condition of the artifacts included in these with a view to gaining insights into the several different phases of artifact life history, including manufacture, acquisition, storage, use, maintenance, reuse, recycling, and discard.  This has involved the development,implementation, and refining of several new methodolgocial approaches aimed at recovering, recording, and analyzing information of this kind.  

The project's principal product will a book-length study that leverages the results obtained to reconstruct the dynamics of the life history of portable material culture both at Pompeii, considering the limplications of these for our approaches to employing material culture to understand consumption in the Roman world.  Much of the primary data that the project collects, methdological documents and discussions, and small-scale/intermediate studies relating to its work will be presented on RES ROMANAE.


The presentation of PALHIP on RES ROMANAE consists of the following pages (some of which have no content at present):

Program of Work: A short text that describes the work that has been undertaken in each of the project's study seasons.

Authorization, Assistance and Support: A short text that indicates tha authorization under which PALHIP has operated and acknowledges the various entities and persons that/who provided logistical, scientific, and/or financial support to the project.

Sub-Projects: This page will describe each of the sub-projects subsumed under PALHIP, presenting much of the primary data collected by each of these.  The development of this page may begin as early as academic year 2017-2018.  

Sources Cited: This page will present a list of the various published and on-line sources cited in the preceding pages.

Products - Data:  This page will present links to downloadable versions of much of the material presented on the Sub-Projects page.

Products - Other: A list of various publications and presentations relating to PALHIP and research tools developed in the context of the project, with links to downloadable versions of many of these.