On the Spot: Sophie Hay

‘If I was let loose in the archives of the Archaeological Museum in Naples I might never emerge.’

Sophie HayWhy are you an archaeologist of the Roman period?
As a child my parents took me to archaeological sites and I was endlessly fascinated.

What’s the most important lesson history has taught you?
That context is everything. Without it we cannot begin to understand the past through the archaeological record.

Which history book has had the greatest influence on you?
Roman Building by Jean-Pierre Adam.

What book in your field should everyone read?
Pompeii: A Sourcebook by Alison Cooley on ancient graffiti.

Which moment would you most like to go back to?
Certainly not Pompeii in AD 79! Instead, the Achaemenid Persian Empire in the fifth century BC to witness a New Year ceremony at Persepolis.

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