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Working-class Pompeii is focus of March 1 lecture from noted archaeologist

Steven Ellis, PhD, an associate professor of Classics at the University of Cincinnati will deliver a lecture on Pompeii, March 1, 2018.The splendor of Pompeii’s grand residences and public spaces has long captured the imaginations and attentions of tourists and scholars who study the ancient Roman city, buried beneath volcanic ash nearly 2,000 years ago.

How the average resident of Pompeii lived, however, is starting to gain more attention. Next month, the Art History program in the Creighton University Department of Fine and Performing Arts, along with the Omaha-Lincoln Society of the Archaeological Institute of America and Omaha’s Joslyn Art Museum will host Steven Ellis, PhD, an associate professor of Classics at the University of Cincinnati, for a lecture next month titled “Pompeii from the Bottom-Up: Excavations into the History of Pompeii’s Working-Class Families.”

The lecture will be delivered Thursday, March 1, at 6:30 p.m., in the Witherspoon Concert Hall at the Joslyn Art Museum. A social hour begins at 5 p.m. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Ellis, who directs the University of Cincinnati’s Pompeii Archaeological Research Project: Porta Stabia, will provide a deeper look at some of the latest directions and discoveries in Pompeian archaeology, including a closer look at one of the city’s humbler but thriving neighborhoods. The new discoveries and rediscoveries are contributing insights into daily life in the Roman social and urban order, giving scholars new ideas on the role of the working class in shaping Rome’s history, politics and economy.

Stories about the modest houses, workshops, eateries and gathering places, and the people who populated them in this forgotten corner of the buried city have supplied a new and curious narrative for archaeologists to follow.

An archaeologist specializing in ancient cities and urban life, Ellis edited the 2011 collection The Making of Pompeii: Studies in the History and Urban Development of an Ancient City and has written forthcoming books on the history of the Roman retail industry and a multivolume work on the Pompeii excavations.

The Creighton University Committee on Lecture, Films, and Concerts has also sponsored this event.

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