Essay about The Contribution of Archaeologists to History

1173 Words Dec 8th, 2011 5 Pages
Towards the mid 19th century, methods in excavating Pompeii and Herculaneum changed due to the concerns associated with the preservation and conservation of the site. As a result of this, archaeologists such as Giuseppe Fiorelli and Amedeo Maiuri developed new methods and approaches towards the excavation of Pompeii.
Giuseppe Fiorelli excavated Pompeii in 1860-1875. Fiorelli’s aim was to introduce a more systematic approach to excavations as a whole due to the destruction of the site in previous excavations. He also aimed to control the results of the publication so that it could be open to the public, open the site to more visitors, incorporate the site into a teaching program at the Naples, and to house objects that were not wanted in
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Fiorelli’s third achievement was his method of systematic excavation. Fiorelli introduced a more systematic approach to preserve most of the site. He organised a workforce to connect different parts of the site together by following the different roads. He also imposed the system of slowly uncovering houses from top to bottom rather than randomly searching for special objects. This allowed him to collect data to help restore ancient buildings and gain a better understanding of the burial process during the eruption. This did less damage to wall structures and made it possible to identify and record evidence which could be used in reconstruction. Fiorelli also realised that objects were often discovered without proper documentation. He introduced the system of recording work in progress with date books including the date, number of workers employed, time the job started and finished, exact place of excavation, description of the number, type and quality of the objects found. He also attempted to understand objects by focusing n its overall history rather than on individual objects, buildings, and art. He placed emphasis on the use of archaeological objects in reconstructing history rather than textual sources. Another achievement of Fiorelli was the contribution to education of archaeology through allowing the understanding of history to the public and students. In 1875, the Italian School of Archaeology replaced the School of Archaeology at…