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David is the American representative for two new archaeological projects - Troia in Portugal and the other in Populonia, northwest of Orvieto on the coast of Tuscany.

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In 2014 David will be starting as the principal American investigator for the archaeological site at Troia, south of Lisbon, in conjunction with a consortium of the Universities of Oporto and Coimbra. The director of excavations is Ines Vaz Pinto, whom David trained in archaeology in the early 1980s and who became a professor at the Lisbon Free University and a prominent archaeologist in her own country. Dr. Vaz Pinto invited David to come pack to this beautiful island to help sponsor the excavations for American students. Troia is a beach-front center for the ancient Roman production of fish sauce or garum which was much coveted throughout the Roman world. We'll be visiting this site in 2014.

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The beautiful beachfront at Troia and a view over the ancient fish sauce (garum) factory

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David will be returning for his 2nd year as American representative and sponsor of the archaeological excavations at Populonia, a major Etruscan center for the production of iron in antiquity and where the University of Florence under the direction of Dr. Carolina Megale and her Italian group Archeodig are excavating a 4th century B.C. tomb complex. The Italian site representative is the well-known classical archaeologist Dr. Giandomenico de Tommaso who created the beautiful archaeological museum at Piombino. Populonia is located on the beach in northwest Tuscany.

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The beautiful coast of Populonia and some of the tombs by the beach. Archaeological work is going on there now.
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A project we are currently working on involves the American Vaudeville Museum. Its trustees were recently searching for a university where its collections, valued at well over $50,000, perhaps as much as $100,000, could be preserved and displayed. The collection has been transferred to the University of Arizona and you can read about it here.

 

 

Now we are raising money to catalog and exhibit the collection. If you love Vaudeville and want to contribute to the preservation of this collection send your tax deductible contribution to Special Collections, University of Arizona Libraries, PO Box 210055, Tucson, AZ 85721-0055 or click here for contact information to find out more!

 

 

 

 

Some Recent Photos

 

 

 

Lovely Lana in 2010 at her second birthday...

 

 

"The Talkies Come to Town"

 

On February 27, 2009 David was the Emcee of a fund raiser to raise money for the new Vaudeville Museum at the University of Arizona. It was held at the historic Fox Theatre in Tucson. The evening was called "The Talkies Come to Town" and featured several restored Vitaphone shorts from UCLA Film and Television Archives and Warner Brothers provided by Dudley Heer of the Vitaphone Project. Frank Cullen, one of the founders of the original Vaudeville Museum in Boston and the donor, along with Mr. Donald McNeally, of the collection to the University of Arizona was there, as well as Dean Carla Stoffle, Dean of the UA Libraries and the Center for Creative Photography. The Vaudeville Collection is house in Special Collections at the University of Arizona Library.

 

 

David and I by the Fox ticket booth

 

 

 

A view of the beautiful ceiling of the restored Art Deco Fox in Tucson

 

 

We all had a great evening watching George Burns and Gracie Allen in "Lambchops", Van & Schenck in "The Pennant Winning Battery of Songland", Adele Rowland in "Stories in Song", Butler and Brennan in "You Don't Know the Half of It", Trixie Friganza in "My Bag of Trix", Shaw and Lee in "The Beau Brummels" and recently found footage from Gold Diggers of Broadway (1929) including the original "Tiptoe Through the Tulips" sequence. And all in the beautiful restored and wonderful Art Deco Fox Theatre. What a treasure that these bits of film history have been saved!

 

 

 

 

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The beautiful beach at Tarquinia, Italy in 2009...and the WONDERFUL restaurant Tirreno... Lunch there with our colleagues, Christie and David Christiana, David Vandenburg, Claudio Bizzarri, Philip and Karen Zimmerman and Brittany Moore

 

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The fascinating site of Sutri..tombs carved out of the cliffs, and a view inside the famous Mithraeum..and David with our friends, Ray and Kate Frank

 

 

David recently taught a course on his early life in vaudeville for the Humanities Seminars at the University of Arizona.

 

 

In July, 2009, our beloved Angel succumbed to her bout with Cushing's Disease and left us. Please see our memorial page for Angel here. We were devasted and swore never to have another dog... until we saw the face of little Lana on a shelter website. We had to drive all the way to Phoenix to get her. She is a wonderful baby - just 10 months old. She is a pure bred Cocker - who would put a beauty like this in a shelter? She has the longest eye lashes I have ever seen - on a dog or a human!

 

 

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By the end of the year David finished his documentary "Forgotten Lives" , a pilot for PBS dealing with the lives of important people who made great contributions to us all but who have been forgotten or had credit for their advancements stolen by others.

 

 

 

 

The pilot deals with the actual discoverer of the ancient site of Troy, the inventor of the womens' one-piece bathing suit and the man who created the part of the scarecrow in "The Wizard of Oz". Think you know the answers to these questions? I'll bet you are giving credit to the wrong people. Watch for this series to find out the truth...

 

 

 

In the summer of 2008 we stayed at the Casa al Duomo - right by the beautiful cathedral in Orvieto.

It has its own homepage!! You can read all about it here.

 

 

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On our Orvieto balcony

 

We had some wonderful trips to Tivoli, Perugia, Faleri Novi, Tarquinia and Rome... Here are some pictures...

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The main fountain at the Villa d'Este at Tivoli... and an unusual view of the Canopus at Hadrian's Villa

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Tomb of the Leopards 470 B.C. (left) and Tomb of the Lionesses 520 B.C.,

two of the fabulous Etruscan tombs at Tarquinia.

It's now possible to get this close to these and actually get pictures of them!!

 

 

 

 

 

At the beach at Tarquinia - some of the students built a "sand castle" of the ruins of Rome complete with the Coliseum!

 

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The seldom-visited site of Faleri Novi...the main city gate ...and the amazing street lined with chamber tombs of the 4th-3rd C B.C. about a mile deep in the woods along the ancient Roman road, the Via Amerina

 

 

One of the tombs

 

 

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As always our trips to Rome were filled with wonders - we took the students to the Forum and Palatine Hill (left - David is in the center in the big hat) and for historic walks looking for obscure features like the famous ancient street called the Argiletum that led through the Forum of Nerva and the area known as the Subura (right) ..it continues under the modern Via dei Fori Imperiali to the Forum.

 

 

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The ruin of a primitive hut known as the hut of Romulus on the Palatine is the oldest part of Rome (left) ...east of the Palatine on the edge of the main street leading to the Arch of Constantine is the spot where the Septizodium stood. It was a huge decorative facade or possibly a fountain built by the Emperor Septimius Severus in 203 AD. It stood as impressive ruins until 1588 when Pope Sixtus V tore it down. Today a field of pink roses marks the outline of the Septizodium (right).

 

 

 

The Septizodium in the 16th Century before its destruction by the Pope

 

 

 

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The remains of the Gardens of Sallust in the northwest part of Rome were originally at one of the lowest points in the city - at the base of a deep valley - today the city has been filled in and built up around the ruins (left) which remain deep down under street level. In central Rome the Church of S. Nicola in Carcere in the ancient Forum Holitorium or vegetable market was constructed within and over the ruins of three ancient temples - Janus, Spes and Juno Sospita. You can go under the church and see the remains of the ancient buildings well below modern street level (right - the podium of the Temple of Juno Sospita under the church).

 

 

 

 

 

 

The ancient Pons Fabricius, the oldest continually used bridge in Rome

According to Dio Cassius the bridge was built in 62 BC, the year after Cicero was consul, to replace an earlier wooden bridge destroyed by fire. It was commissioned by Lucius Fabricius, the curator of the roads and a member of the gens Fabricia of Rome. Completely intact from Roman antiquity, it has been in continuous use ever since. It connects the Tiber Island to the area of the Forum Boarium. An original inscription on the travertine commemorates its builder in elegant Roman capitals, L . FABRICIVS . C . F . CVR . VIAR | FACIVNDVM . COERAVIT | IDEMQVE | PROBAVIT . It is repeated four times: on each arch, on both sides of the bridge.

 

 

 

 

 

In 2008 I participated in the international convention of the Compact Collectors Club at the Golden Nugget in Las Vegas. I gave a Powerpoint presentation on one aspect of my collection - compacts with miniature paintings of known works of art.

 

 

Like this one depicting Rinaldo and Armida (a scene from Torquato Tassos's opera, Gerusalemme liberata of 1711)  (1734) by François Boucher

 

I have put a version of it on this website and you can see it here.

 

 

 

David and Noelle in October, 2007.

 

Below is some information on our Fall 2007 trip to Italy.

 

 


We arrived in Rome and our driver met us to take us to Orvieto. Our first stop was at our favorite restaurant, the Trattoria Etrusca, for a beautiful lunch of umbrichelli (a local egg noodle) with white truffle sauce. It is amazing!!

The Trattoria Etrusca

It was wonderful to see and meet all the students spending their semester in Orvieto at the Istituto Internazionale di Studi Classici di Orvieto, (http://www.officinecomunicazione.com/orvietoinstitute/ ). It was my first chance to use my new point-and-shoot Canon Powershot (as a photographer I have always been officially opposed to such things) and I LOVED it!!


David (left) with Alba Frascarelli (Administrative Coordinator and Professor) and Claudio Bizzarri (Professor in Residence 2007) from our Orvieto Institute

Some of the students at our Orvieto program this Fall.

By chance, Orvieto was holding its annual Slow Food Festival where people come from all over the world to savor local fare it was a treat just to see the luscious local specialties arranged at the fair.

Have a free sample of luscious local biscotti!

 

I can still smell the sausages sizzling!

 

An assortment of cheese, wine and salumi in a store window in Orvieto

 

We spent one day on a trip with the students to historic Perugia and Assisi. It was a glorious day for a trip. The next day we met with the present and former Mayors of Lugnano in Teverina, Italy, to plan how to help them to make a new museum in Lugnano.

 

This is the hill town of Lugnano - the long large building on the right is the old winery that will become the new museum.

 

This is the town in Umbria where we discovered the important 5th century A.D. infant cemetery a few years ago that showed through groundbreaking DNA studies that malaria was a factor in the decline of the Roman Empire. They've purchased a former winery and want us to help select, design and install the exhibition there and be a guest Curator. We are going to organize a museum in the winery and we have been asked also to resume our excavations in the infant cemetery. We are considering that now. The next day we traveled to Palestrina (ancient Praeneste) and the ruins of Otricoli, once a large Imperial trade center. The town of Palestrina has been built within and around the ancient and huge Sanctuary of Fortuna and is an archaeological dream to see.

 

David and some students in the ruins of the sanctuary of Fortuna

 

In the ruins of the baths (left) and the theatre in Otricoli (ancient Ocriculum) on the Via Flaminia, north of Rome

 

After our stay in Orvieto we went to Rome for a few days. We stayed at the Hotel Portoghesi just north of the Stadium of Domitian (Piazza Navona). Each morning we did our power walk around and around this piazza! We met with the Director of the American Academy in Rome (http://www.aarome.org/) where David and I spent his sabbatical in 2003 when he was a Resident there, and discussed the possibility of endowing an Affiliated Fellowship for one student each year to attend the Academy. What a fabulous opportunity to live and work in Rome! Then we relaxed in Rome and walked all over the city ferreting out unknown corners the topography of ancient Rome is my passion! Here are three:

 

In front of the Arch of Gallienus (the ancient Esquiline Gate). The Porta Esquilina in its original version was a gate in the Servian Wall and it dates back to the 6th century when the Servian Wall was built by the Roman king Servius Tullius. Initially, the site of the Porta Esquilina was marked by a single arch that was built in the 1st Century AD, but it later became a triple arch structure in the 3rd Century AD that had a peak height of 8.8m. The conversion to a triple arch was sponsored by the equite M. Aurelius Victor in 262 AD to honor the Roman emperor Gallienus. Although archaeological evidence shows signs of extra pillar foundations, Aurelius Victor's additional arches did not survive and today only the original, single arch remains.

I am standing on the spot (30 feet below me) where Julius Caesar was assassinated! That event occurred in the portico of the theatre of Pompey, a structure that underlays this part of Rome off to the left of the photo. Behind me (to the northeast) are the Temple ruins in the Largo Argentina.

Just a little way off the Largo Argentina is the remnant of the curving end of the old Theatre of Pompey on the Via Grotta Pinta into which this apartment house was built. There are several restaurants built into the substructures of this theatre too - the Da Pancrazio and the Costanza are two.

The interior of the Da Pancrazio built into the substructure of Theatre of Pompey.

 

The statue of Giordano Bruno (one of my heroes) in the Campo dei Fiori in Rome. It stands

on the spot where he was burned alive by the Pope in 1600 for his ideas on infinity and indeterminacy, particularly the idea of an infinite universe where Earth has no special place. He is seen as an influence on many later scientists and philosophers like Galileo and Newton.

 

Here is an interesting comparison - it was David's idea!

 

 

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About 1970 .........................2000..................................2007

 

It only shows his hair getting grey - he weighs exactly the same! And Constantine never changes (except he is a little cleaner now)! I wish I had taken one every time we went to Rome!

 

Our time in Rome was fascinating as always and invigorating for the soul!!