AMHERST, Mass. – Eric Poehler, assistant professor of classics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, appears in a short film just released by Apple, Inc. to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Macintosh computer. Poehler and his colleagues conduct advanced research at the ancient city of Pompeii, where they use iPads as frequently as traditional excavation tools.
His participation in the project, which was shot all over the world in one day using only iPhones, had been kept secret until it was posted on the Apple website on Feb. 3.
“It was great to have Apple showcase our work at Pompeii as part of their 30th anniversary celebration. We’ve worked for nearly a decade to bring a forgotten quarter of Pompeii back to life and for the last four years the iPad has been instrumental in that endeavor,” said Poehler.
Poehler appears with Steven Ellis from the University of Cincinnati, his partner in the Pompeii excavation. Apple previously featured both scholars for their innovative use of the iPad in 2010.
Since shortly after the iPad’s introduction in 2010, Poehler and his team have been breaking new ground in demonstrating powerful uses for the archaeological fieldwork and research. Using iPads, they document an ancient building’s history by capturing observations in a database, recording notes, making drawings, and taking photographs. Pompeii was buried in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD.
Poehler and Ellis’ work on the Quadriporticus at Pompeii has been sponsored by UMass Amherst, the Five Colleges Digital Humanities Program, and Cardinal Intellectual Properties.