What was Pompeii?

If you ever make a trip to Italy, one of the most fascinating sights to see is Pompeii. For here is a city, almost 2,000 years old, that you will be able to see and study in greater detail, and better preserved, than almost any other ancient city.

Why is this so? on August 24th, in the year A.D 79, there was a great eruption of Mount Vesuvius, a Volcano in southern Italy. The lava, stones, and ashes thrown up by the volcano in southern Italy.

The Lava, stones and ashes thrown up by the volcano completely buried two nearby towns. The town of Herculaneum, about two miles away, was deeply covered by a stream of mud which flowed down the slope of the mountain.

Pompeii, farther along the coast, was buried by the train of ashes and the mass which covered the city was from 5 to 6 meters thick.

When water came down on top of this, the material became like clay or plaster of Paris. As a Result, object that were caught in it made molds of the material, and the two towns were remarkably preserved underneath!

Survivors of this disaster returned to the towns and by digging down and tunneling were able to remove most of the valuable objects, including slabs of marble that were on the large buildings. In the Middle Age, this place and everything about it was forgotten.

In 1594 an underground aqueduct was started here, and the ruins were rediscovered. But it took until 1763 before any real excavating was done, and it has been carried on ever since. But nearly half of Pompeii is still buried!

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