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MAC offers Pompeii lecture series via Zoom

During quarantine, many businesses and organizations have had to get creative in how they offer their services to patrons.

The Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture, for example, has turned to Zoom, the video conferencing website, to bring its April Archaeological Institute of America lectures to museumgoers.

“The MAC staff has been working diligently to develop new, creative and meaningful ways to engage you with art, history and culture,” the museum wrote in an email.

The free lecture series features a different program each Thursday in April at 6:30 p.m., sponsored by the Spokane Society of the Archaeological Institute of America

The series kicks off Thursday with “Prostitution in the Immor(t)al City: Investigating Pompeii’s Brothel.” Sarah Levin-Richardson, from the University of Washington, will discuss Pompeii’s brothel, the only certain brothel from Greco-Roman antiquity, and give a virtual tour of the architecture and ancient graffiti. This lecture will contain sexual content and is for mature audiences only. Join Zoom meeting 500-211-071 to participate.

The series continues on April 9 with “Roman Gladiators: Killing Machines? Fact and Fiction” with Gonzaga University’s Andrew Goldman. Goldman, a classical archaeologist and historian, will help dispel some assumptions about the lives gladiators – men and women – led. Join Zoom meeting 100-658-916 to participate.

On April 16, Jeremy Hartnett, of Wabash College in Indiana, will present “Street Theater: A Pompeian Neighborhood in Five Acts.” During his lecture, Hartnett will share five stories from a single intersection, far from the center of the city, to share the lives of those who lived in Pompeii – upper-class politicians, slaves, hucksters, donkeys and more. Join Zoom meeting 600-718-160 to participate.

On April 23, the series continues with “Kitchens, Dining Rooms and Latrines: Routines in a Roman House,” with Mira Green from the University of Washington. Using accounts from Roman literature about cooking, dining and using the bathroom, plus archaeological evidence from Pompeii, Green will recreate daily routines in Roman houses. She will also examine how domestic hierarchies were established and maintained through tools, locations and movement of daily routines. Join Zoom meeting 602-398-826 to participate.

Finally, the series will end on April 30 with “Humans as Artifacts: Inventing and Displaying Pompeiian Body Casts” with Kevin Dicus of the University of Oregon. Dicus will examine the Pompeii body casts, beginning with the development of the casting technique and including recent scientific analysis which seeks to give the casts their original identities, rather than the fictional biographies they have been assigned. Join Zoom meeting 551-268-510 to participate.

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