Nicholas Merkelson, museum professional and cultural heritage specialist:
On the whole, “Herculaneum Uncovered” is a very informative, lay-accessible introduction to one archaeologist’s experience in the field. There are insights into a range of issues affecting archaeological research, conservation ethics, and society’s view of the past. Without being overly political in scope, the conversation reminds us why and how the work of individuals like Wallace-Hadrill is important, both now and in the future.
Geoff Carter, structural archaeologist and blogger:
Professor Wallace-Hadrill effortlessly blends the latest insights into the archaeology, with its long and complex relationship with local society, down to the present day issues of conservation, presentation, and exploration. While the individual problems of the site are those familiar to most archaeologists in some form, the scale and range of issues at sites like Herculaneum make it something of a macrocosm for archaeology as a whole; it is the subject at its most potent, complex, and deeply entangled in the wider issues of society. If archaeology is to endure in these difficult times, it is important that what archaeologists do in the widest sense, as well as how they think, is readily available to be understood at a level beyond that of the average television documentary.
Alice Watterson, archaeology Ph.D. candidate at the Glasgow School of Art’s Digital Design Studio, specializing in archaeological visualisation:
I really enjoyed the breadth of this interview which addressed a number of topics regarding Herculaneum and Pompeii on various scales. The initial discussion concerned hard facts about what had been found, where and how, then speculative conversations which placed that information in an interpretive context. Up to this point content such as this would be expected of such an interview on a particular period or site, but then the interviewer allows Andrew to reflect upon the archaeological process itself. This I thought was particularly effective as it places the entire interview within the wider context of archaeological theory as a whole and challenges us to be reflexive over our interpretive practice – something I think is essential but not often discussed in a publicly disseminated medium. In the same vein I found that discussion of the actual experience of excavating in Italy, together with the politics of the issues faced when it comes to conservation really served to add further depth to my understanding and appreciation for the Herculaneum project as a whole. It was refreshing to see an archaeological interview go deeper than just the artefacts and structures excavated.
Continued at Ideas Roadshow: Herculaneum Uncovered.