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PhD: Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology

Thesis Title: Subsistence and commercial production in the private gardens of the Roman Empire

 

Thesis Description:

Gardens played a significant role in the lives of ancient Romans, providing attractive and stimulating spaces for recreation, business, self-promotion and memorialisation. While the above topics have been afforded generous attention in garden study, the productive roles of urban gardens have largely been ignored despite the often too brief acknowledgement of their importance for understanding local trade, the wider economy and the everyday lives of Romans. This thesis aims to fill this lacuna by examining the impact of urban gardens and their produce on the population and economy of Roman Campania. The proposed project will be the first comprehensive study of urban produce gardening in Roman society, as distinct from the pioneering work of Wilhelmina F. Jashemski by the application of literary, art and archaeological evidence to garden study, economic and demographic theory. Special interest will be taken in towns which participated in the Campanian nundinae (market days in the Roman calendar) with the aim to further enlighten us on the production of food, local trade, victual tastes, and small-scale urban labour in ancient Roman Campania. It is hoped that the findings of this study will have wider repercussions for contemporary approaches to food sustainability and urban space planning.

 

Supervisors and Institution(s): Dr Gareth Sears (University of Birmingham) and Professor Diana Spencer (University of Birmingham)

 

Written Pieces:

  • Henton, L., Farebrother, E. and Venner, J. (2018) 'A preliminary analysis of targeted faunal assemblages retrieved by hand and by sieving during excavation seasons at Aeclanum, April 2018' (in draft)
  • 'What’s for dinner? Diet, drink and daily life in Pompeii', Ancient History Magazine, Karwansaray Publishers, p. 29-35

 

Journals:

  • Publicity Officer and Copy/Specialist Editor of the Rosetta Journal (2018 onwards)

 

Scholarly / Public Engagement Activities:

  • Co-founder of Heads Down, Phones Off! PGR working group. School of History and Cultures, University of Birmingham (October 2018 onwards)
  • Organiser of BSR Members Tour of the London Mithraeum. In association with MOLA at Bloomberg SPACE for British School at Rome (May 2018)
  • Co-organised and managed 'Glass: Archaeology, History and Practice' at the British Museum. Study workshops and public lectures in association with the British Museum for British School at Rome (November 2017)

Posters: 

  • AHRC Visit Poster Presentation. Presentation of work in poster form to Professor Edward Harcourt, Director of Research, Strategy and Innovation for AHRC.

Committees:

  • Chair of the Organising Committee - 2019 CAHA Colloquium
  • Co-Chair of Student-Staff Committee (2018 onwards)
  • Student Representative for College of Arts and Law Postgraduate Researcher Student-Staff Committee (2018 onwards)
  • Committee Member of Rosetta Forum (2018 onwards)

Fieldwork:

  • Zooarchaeology team in post-excavation season with Apolline Project (April 2018)
  • Archaeobotany team at Sedgeford Historical and Archaeological Research Project Summer excavations (July 2017)
  • Archaeology team at excavations at Villa B, Oplontis with Kent Archaeological Field School (June - July 2017)

 

Relevant Employment:

  • Administrative Officer (Alumni and Events) at the British School at Rome (2017-2018)

 

Memberships:

  • The Royal Historical Society (Elected 2018)
  • The Friends of Herculaneum Society (2018 onwards)
  • The Kent Archaeological Field School (2016 onwards)
  • Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies (2014 onwards)

 

Other Research Interests:

  • Food production and consumption
  • Art history
  • Domestic space
  • Gardens
  • Roman identity
  • Pompeii and Herculaneum

 

 

University email address: JLV871@student.bham.ac.uk

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jessica-venner-8aa0a55b/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/missjlvenner

Academia.edu: https://bham.academia.edu/JessicaVenner

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