In 2016, I plan to build a reconstruction of a kiln that PARP:PS excavated in Pompeii in 2012. This round updraft kiln was relatively small, and was known to have fired a variety of wares, including small cup forms called olla and tiny votives. Some raw, unfired clay was also uncovered from an associated deposit, which provides a unique opportunity to look into the components of the claybody and recreate that, too, along with the kiln. In order to develop an algorithm of ancient fuel consumption, I aim to construct this kiln at an arts center in Pennsylvania, and fill it with wares that match the fabric and the form of the ancient vessels that would have been fired in the kiln more than 2,000 years ago.
This project is considered an exercise in experimental archaeology, where conditions of the past are re-created in order to gain further insight to process, behavior, or technology. The study of ancient ceramic technology is particularly rich in this field; many projects have been carried out in the past, including the recent Greek Kiln Project developed by Dr. Eleni Hasaki at the University of Arizona.
I look forward to engaging and involving the ceramics community and beyond in this long-term research project, and I'll be posting updates on this website as the project develops.