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Whilst it is not essential to do any background reading before the course begins, you may find it useful to do so. The reading list below contains books that you can read. You don’t have to read all of these. Indeed, we don’t specify any that you must read. Instead, these are readings you can use to gain a preliminary understanding of topics, as well as to study in more depth those parts of the course you are particularly interested in. You may also want to take a look at magazines such as British Archaeology, World Archaeology and Current Archaeology.


Amery, C, Curran, B and Wallace-Hadrill, A. 2011. ‘The Lost World of Pompeii’.

Beard, M. 2009. ‘Pompeii: The Life of a Roman Town’.

Berry, J. 2013. ‘The Complete Pompeii’

Butterworth, A and Laurence, R. 2005. ‘Pompeii: The Living City’.

Roberts, P. 2013. ‘Life and death in Pompeii and Herculaneum’ (accompanies British Museum exhibition)

Wallace-Hadrill, A. 2012. ‘Herculaneum: Past and Future.’


Harris, R. 2009. ‘Pompeii’


‘Pompeii: Life and Death in a Roman town’ (BBC 2 documentary presented by Mary Beard)