In rough chronological order, our seminar will look at select examples of large-scale wall paintings from the ancient Mediterranean, from the Bronze Age to the Late Roman Empire. In order to learn interpretive strategies for understanding visual communication, our explorations will take us to diverse sites around the Mediterranean, including the famous Roman cities of Campania preserved by the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in AD 79. We will investigate the history and context of each site and consider the role of the medium of wall painting as a whole in the communication of identity, ideology, propaganda and culture in antiquity. We will also consider technical, artistic and interpretive issues pertaining to the materials themselves alongside questions pertaining to cultural heritage, excavation, conservation and display practices in modern history.