"Pompeii Artistic Landscape Project" Funded by the Getty Foundation

By Sebastian Heath

On February 13th, the Getty Foundation announced a grant to the University of Massachusetts at Amherst for the "Pompeii Artistic Landscape Project," or PALP. Dr. Eric Poehler, Associate Professor of Classics at UMass Amherst, leads the project and will collaborate with Sebastian Heath, Clinical Assistant Professor of Ancient Studies at ISAW. PALP's initial focus is the architectural and urban context of Pompeian wall-painting. The project will allow site-wide discovery of motifs and subjects through searches that integrate architectural setting and the relationships that rooms and buildings have to their neighbors, to Pompeian streets, and to the city as a whole. PALP builds on the concepts of "Linked Open Data", "Graph Databases", and the "Semantic Web" to enable new approaches to discovery and analysis within Pompeii's extremely rich and well-documented urban landscape. Heath brings his long experience in designing archaeological databases and in the implementation of Linked Open Data to the project. Professor Poehler, co-director of the Pompeii Quadriporticus Project and author of The Traffic Systems of Pompeii (OUP, 2017), is a leading voice in the study of the city. PALP is funded through the Getty Foundation's Digital Art History initiative. The total grant is $245,000, with Heath being the PI on a $49,000 sub-award to NYU.

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