The Spondylus Route to archaeology, Ecuador

Romantically named, the Ruta del Spondylus highway borders the the ocean in places, then dips inland around high hills, making its way from northern Peru to northern Ecuador. It is named after the spondylus shell, brilliant orange or deep purple species that were used to make beads and jewelry by the ancient people of bothContinue reading “The Spondylus Route to archaeology, Ecuador”

Where the Greeks were

Sicily was the largest colony established by Greece. What that actually means sinks in about the third time you visit a vast, partially excavated archaeological site and find a temple, or several, that appear to be transplanted straight from the Acropolis in Athens. The temples may the most impressive sights, but there are lots ofContinue reading “Where the Greeks were”

Piazza Armerina–Roman mosaics at their best

We didn’t know much about Piazza Armerina until we looked for archaeological sites to visit within driving distance of us in Sicily. The guidebook indicated interesting mosaics at the Villa Romana de Casale near the town of Piazza Armerina. The mosaic floors of this villa, owner unknown but possibly the Emperor Maximian (250-310 AD), areContinue reading “Piazza Armerina–Roman mosaics at their best”

What I love about Pompeii

As an archaeologist, I was amazed, surprised, and delighted by Pompeii. Other sites may be bigger (Tenochtitlan, Mexico), have larger temples and pyramids (Moche, Peru), or more spectacular settings (Machu Picchu, Peru), but more is known and brings the city to life inĀ  Pompeii than anywhere else. There are lots of buildings, walls and streets.Continue reading “What I love about Pompeii”