|Tom, Maria and Rob|
WHAT IS POMPEII? It was a major ancient city founded at the mouth of the Sarno River. It was surrounded by the Bay of Naples and Mount Vesuvius (5 miles away). It was filled with artisan shops, taverns, cafes, brothels and bathhouses. There was a 20,000-seat arena, open-air squares and marketplaces.
|Walking up from one of the 7 entrances|
MOUNT VESUVIUS ERUPTS - In 79 A.D., Mount Vesuvius erupted. It buried the ancient Roman city of Pompeii under a thick carpet of volcanic ash while it incinerated the city of Herculaneum on the other side of the volcano.
According to History.com, "as more and more ash fell, it clogged the air, making it difficult to breathe. Buildings collapsed. Then, a “pyroclastic surge”–a 100-miles-per-hour surge of super-heated poison gas and pulverized rock–poured down the side of the mountain and swallowed everything and everyone in its path.By the time the Vesuvius eruption sputtered to an end the next day, Pompeii was buried under millions of tons of volcanic ash. About 2,000 people were dead."
WHEN RE-DISCOVERED? - A group of explorers rediscovered the site in 1748 when looking for underground water sources, they were surprised to find that–underneath a thick layer of dust and debris–Pompeii was mostly intact.
ONLY PARTIALLY UNCOVERED -
According to Maria, our guide, when we were there in May 2016 one third of the city still remained covered by ash and soil. So far, 45 of 66 acres have been unearthed. Archaeologists are still digging it out. To the right is a photo of a large part of the city that is still buried under grass, dirt, and ash.
NEXT: Pompeii Part 2: The Amphitheater