Public Outreach

Vita Romana: at the baths of Aeclanum graphic novella

In my role as a Public Archaeologist at Roman Aeclanum (2017-2019), I worked on a variety of outreach materials to promote the site and through games and illustrations. Vita Romana: at the baths of Aeclanum was the final project in our programme.

Vita Romana is a bespoke graphic novella that illustrates an in-depth exploration into Roman daily life. Our story follows a young patrician pre-teen, Neratia Prima, and her family as they deal with daily life in a Roman colonia in the mid-second century AD. Neratia learns about the myth of the Niobids through a statue found at the baths.

Aeclanum is directed by the University of Edinburgh’s Dr. Ben Russell and Dr. Girolamo F. De Simone, director of the Apolline Project, with the support of the British School at Rome, the Comune di Mirabella Eclano, and the Soprintendenza Archeologia, Belle Arti e Paesaggio per le province di Salerno ed Avellino.

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Graphic Novella Creative Team:

Writing: Ambra Ghiringhelli is a PhD candidate in Classics (Ancient History) at the University of Edinburgh, and has recently completed a SGSAH-sponsored internship at Glasgow Women’s Library focusing on knowledge dissemination and outreach. Her interests beyond research include, among others, creative writing, social history, and public engagement.

Illustration and Development: Zofia Guertin is a PhD candidate in Classics (Ancient History) at the University of St. Andrews where she studies Egyptian cult spaces and material culture in the Greco-Roman world. She is passionate about public engagement with ancient history, writing a travel-archaeology blog and making art and illustrations.

Book design: Josef Souček is one of the curators of the archaeological collection of the National Musem in Prague. His academic interests lie in Roman wall painting and architecture, as well as digital archaeology, but among his hobbies are graphic design and 3D modelling – both skills heavily employed in the public archaeology project in Aeclanum.