Pompeii - The excavated village after the Mt Vesuvius eruption
2,000 years after the Mt Vesuvius eruption that destroyed in 79AD the village of Pompeii completely, part of Pompeii has been excavated and the preserved ruins are in good conditions.
From the time of its founding in 600 B.C., the city of Pompeii played an important part in history. It was inhabited by Osiers, Etruscans, Samnites and Romans.
During the time of the Roman empire Pompeii was a very wealthy city. In the core of the city there was a forum and numerous temples that were used as government buildings, theaters, trading halls as well as thermal baths. Pompeii was one of the few towns that had paved streets with sidewalks as well as a canalization system with lead piping to transport the water to the many wells throughout the town. Some of the richest families even had running water for their baths, kitchens, gardens and latrines.
Well for the watering off houses and gardens
Pompeii - buildings on the Via dell'Abondanza
An eyewitness, the historian Plinius, writes that on the morning of August 24th 79 A.D. a great earthquake shook the ground, this was followed by a tremendous bang caused by the explosion of the peak of Mt. Vesuvius. Out of the crater poured thick black smoke that covered the city and caused ash and red-hot chunks of lava to pour down like rain.
Pompei after the volcanic eruption
Pompeii had about 13,000 inhabitants at that time. When Mt Vesuvius erupted at highnoon, spewing volcanic ashes and lapili over the village of Pompeii. most people continued on with their daily lives, unaware of the imminent danger. Some of the inhabitants tried to escape, yet it was almost impossible to flee. The ships were being thrown back by flood waves and the wagons could not go over the mountains quick enough. Therefore many people died in Pompeii, most of them were poisoned by the phosphorus gases from the volcanic eruption. Within two days the whole city was entirely destroyed and covered in a 6-9m deep layer of ash.
The Forum of Pompeii
Gradually grass and vines cover the land where the town stood. The local people eventually forget even the name of the buried town. Pompeii was rediscovered in 1748. In the 18th and 19th century archaeologists began digging and were amazed at what was found. Even today a good part of the town is still buried under the ash and everyone waits anxiously to see what else there is to discover. Because of the way this city was covered, the preservation of most of the city is amazing, you can even still see some of the frescos on the walls of the villas.
Houses and temples on the Via del Vesuvio
Pompeii - Necropoli
Today Pompeii is a huge open-air museum. The buildings, the pillars of the ancient temples, the theater, the frescos in the villas, the streets and many different objects help give us a very lively picture of everyday life in Pompeii before the volcano.
You can see fascinating places such as The Forum, Thermal Baths, Lupanare and Vetti's House with it's beautiful frescos. This is a trip not to be missed for any visitor to this region of Italy.