‘Pompeii-mania' in schools Down Under
journal contributionposted on 2023-05-19, 02:48 authored by Louise ZarmatiLouise Zarmati
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.
Publication titleJournal of Public Archaeology
Department/SchoolFaculty of Education
Place of publicationItaly
Rights statementCopyright 2017 the Author. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/