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Garden Archaeology

Dumbarton Oaks has been involved with garden archaeology since 1982 when it awarded a grant to Wilhelmina Jashemski, whose ground-breaking work The Gardens of Pompeii, Herculaneum, and the Villas Destroyed by Vesuvius set the stage for garden archaeology investigations into diverse questions, from studies of natural history, hydraulics, and rural economy to retrieval of ancient garden layouts.

In 1984, Elisabeth Blair MacDougall (Dumbarton Oaks) and Wilhelmina Jashemski (University of Maryland) presented recent archaeological findings at the Garden and Landscape Studies symposium. This was published in 1987 as Ancient Roman Villa Gardens, number ten in the Dumbarton Oaks Colloquium on the History of Landscape Architecture series.

Dumbarton Oaks continues to support this field through project grants. In 2001, for example, Dumbarton Oaks provided a grant for a two-week field study directed by former Dumbarton Oaks fellow Leigh-Ann Bedal, Larry Conyers (Denver University), and Kathryn Gleason (Cornell University) to test non-destructive archaeological methods. It is presented in the Petra Garden Feasibility Study. Dumbarton Oaks also provided support to the formation of a steering committee for the Society for Garden Archaeology. Questions about garden archaeology may be directed to Kathryn Gleason, Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture, Cornell University.