A.P. World History Syllabus        

AP Trip of the Month

The Getty Villa:   In 79 A.D., Mt. Vesuvius erupted and buried the Roman towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum under 50 feet of ash, sealing in time the many artifacts of Imperial Rome for future archeologists to uncover.   It wasn’t until 1735 that one of the most lavish Roman mansions, the Villa De Papiri, complete with colorful frescoes, statuary, mosaics and fountains, was discovered 80 feet below the surface.   The results of the excavation captured the imagination of scholars and art collectors the world over.   Subsequent tunneling and study suggests that the massive seaside villa was home to Julius Caesar’s father-in-law.   In the 1960’s, when wealthy oilman and art collector J. Paul Getty sought to build a museum here in California on his vast Malibu estate, no expense was spared.    To exhibit his many ancient Greek and Roman works of art, he wanted to use what the archeologists had discovered in Italy and recreate the Villa de Papiri to include as many architectural and design features as possible.  Completed in the 1970’s and considered the richest art museum in the world, the Getty Villa cost a fortune to construct because the buildings and gardens were meticulously researched and patterned from the designs and lifestyles of ancient Roman society.     To visit the Getty Villa today is to grasp the beauty and grandeur of the ancient Roman Empire, as though the many layers of ash and sediment had been brushed aside and the excavation site moved in its entirety to Getty’s front yard.     Enter the gates of this opulent estate and imagine that you are Mr. Getty’s guest and have come to experience a great archeological discovery from ancient civilization, preserved like new.    

EXTRA CREDIT ASSIGNMENT:   100 points possible

Research the Getty Villa website at http://www.getty.edu/visit/

·    Carefully read the instructions and print out this assignment to take with you.

·    Go to the Getty Villa with at least 2 other A.P. World History students.

·    Write the 3-page essay response to the questions below.

·    Insert at least 10 digital photos into your document (make sure you are in many of them.)



Museum Hours:   Thursday thru Monday, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.      Closed Tuesday and most Wednesdays.  Admission:   Free but tickets must be reserved.   No walk-ins.     $15 parking fee.     (310) 440-7300

Don't park on the streets of Malibu....it will cost you an expensive parking citation.

Bring money for food options at café.     Keep groups limited to 8 or less.

INSTRUCTIONS FOR WRITING THE ESSAY:    Do NOT number your responses---Simply incorporate your answers throughout the essay.   Describe your adventure.   What was the funniest thing that happened to you?   Who did you go with?  Did you eat?  Did you get lost?   Did you experience something unexpected?    Who surprised you the most?  

1.     Upon leaving the parking garage, take the elevator to the top level so you can look down on the Villa as though you’re looking down on an archeological dig.    (Take Photo from this balcony)    Then take the elevator to the middle level so you can enter the Villa from the Outer Peristyle and Garden first.  (Take a Photo of the Villa from the end of the pool---make sure you’re in the photos or you have no evidence you went.)   Take a photo with the god Hermes and check out his wings.      Surrounding the peristyle are replicas of illusionistic ancient wall paintings showing great wreaths draped between imaginary pillars.  Look carefully atop the imaginary wall just beneath these wreaths.  List 4 types of painted creatures shown sitting there on the wall?    

2.  Take a photograph of yourself sitting on the great circular bench in the peristyle garden.   Observe the intricate slate and limestone pattern at the center.   Why are benches like these considered examples of "democratic architecture” from the Roman period?   What do they have to do with democracy?

3.  Enter the Villa from the Outer Peristyle Garden through the Triclinium or dining hall facing the Inner Peristyle.    Carefully observe the complex geometric patterns of ancient marble used on the floor.  The floor contains how many different colors of marble?     

4.  How many columns surround the Inner Peristyle?   Research Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian style columns.  Look around the museum grounds and locate examples of each of the three columns.   (Take photos of each.)     Visit the East Garden near the stairs and take a group photo with the exact replica of the colorful fountain from House of the Large Fountain in Pompeii.  

5.  Locate the Atrium (today’s main entrance.)   Identify the impluvium and compluvium common to Roman homes.   What are they used for?    Enter the four Cubicula or bedrooms which open onto the Atrium (Labeled CI).  What kind of art does each exhibit?    How large are these rooms?  Do you think Romans preferred living indoors and why? 

6.  Visit Room CIV and take your picture next to your favorite Roman god or goddess and explain why you chose that particular deity.   Visit the Hall of Colored Marbles or Room CV.  Note the floor was entirely cut from ancient fragments.  How many different kinds of marble were used in this room?   

Visit the Basilica (Room CVI) very likely used as a private hall of worship in ancient times.   The floor, columns, and coffered ceiling panels are exact replicas from Pompeii and Herculaneum.  (Take Photo----Remember NO FLASH)

7.  Enter the Temple of Herakles (Room CVIII).  How old is the Statue of the Lansdowne Hercules.  Look at the floor of the temple where rings of triangle shaped marble are found in an amazing pattern.  Count the number of rings that contain the antique yellow marble.    Why is this particular floor significant to the Getty Villa and the history of the Villa De Papiri?

8.  See the exhibit called “The Last Days of Pompeii:  Decadence, Apocalypse, Resurrection”   What 3 displays inspired by the famous volcanic explosion did you remember most or stimulated your imagination and why?

9.   Interact with computers in the TimeScape Room.    What 3 things did you explore?

10. What are the oldest pieces of art on display in the Getty collection and what Gallery are they in?   Describe your favorite piece of art in the whole building that you most enjoyed learning about or observing?   Provide title, year and a description of your personal favorite.

11. What exactly is the Statue of a Victorious Youth and why is it so significant?

12. Describe your favorite part of the Getty Villa, as well as your least favorite part

13. In what ways did this trip enhance your understanding of history and of the ancient world?     Did this help you to connect better with topics related to your summer reading?    Explain with examples.

14. Should high school students visit this place and why?  Would you recommend this experience to others even if extra credit wasn't provided or did you feel it wasn't that important, considering the time involved, the drive, and the cost?