‘Pompeii-mania’ in schools Down Under

Each year around 11,000 teenagers in the Australian state of New South Wales study the archaeological sites of Pompeii and Herculaneum as a compulsory topic in the senior school subject of Ancient History. Students examine written and archaeological evidence of the everyday lives of ancient people, the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, and how the sites were rediscovered and excavated. Most importantly, they learn to critically examine ethical issues relating to the conservation, reconstruction and interpretation of Pompeii and Herculaneum and how they affect tourism and heritage management in Italy today. The topic has become so popular that it can best be described as a ‘Pompeii-mania’ which has spawned a thriving ‘industry’ of conferences, textbooks, university courses and even school trips to Italy. In this paper I explain how ‘Pompeii-mania’ developed, its impact on teachers and students, and provide evidence of its influence on students’ choices of university subject.

Butrint before the Butrint Foundation

By R. Hodges – At the time of Richard Hodges’ first visit to Albania in 1993, less than three years after a peaceful transition from the hardline communist regime of Enver Hoxa to a democratic government, the country was experiencing great hardships. Back then, the archaeological site of Butrint was far from being internationally recognised as a tourist destination and suffered heavily from looting. After almost 20 years of groundbreaking discoveries and cutting-hedge management activities in collaboration with international organizations, in 2012, Richard Hodges left behind a state-of-the-art national park – Butrint National Park – which is today one of the most interesting tourist destinations of Albania, but most importantly, a significant source of wealth for the entire region.
This memoir describes Richard Hodges’ first visit to Butrint, chaperoned by archaeologists from the Institute of Archaeology of Albania, coming to terms with the effects of the transition from communism to a democratic republic.