Mount Vesuvius is a volcano near the bar of Naples; it is hundreds and thousands of years old and thought to have erupted over 50 times.
Pompeii remained mostly untouched until 1748, when a group of explorers arrived in Campania and began to dig. They found that the ashes had acted as the most amazing preservative.
Underneath all that dust, Pompeii was almost exactly as it had been 2,000 years before. Its buildings were intact. People had been frozen exactly where they had fallen. They discovered everyday objects and household goods had littered the streets. Later archaeologists even uncovered jars of preserved fruit and loaves of bread! Almost 3 centuries later Pompeii is still being uncovered and new and exciting finds discover all the time.
When Vesuvius started to erupt it sent plumes high into the air, so that people from hundreds of miles around could see, at this time many Pompeian’s took the decision to flee the city.
For those who stayed behind, conditions soon grew worse. As more and more ash fell, it clogged the air, making it difficult to breathe. Buildings started to collapse. Then, a 100-miles-per-hour surge of hot poisonous gas and rock poured down the side of the mountain and swallowed everything and everyone in its path. Pompeii was now buried under millions of tons of volcanic rock and 2000 people perished.
When you read it like that it seems so much more real, easier to relate to all those people that died, not just a moment in history you have read about.
I have added some photos of a recent trip of ours, you really must see it to believe that this City was simply frozen in time with not much warning the City and its people became a living museum of Roman Life.
The City is huge and has all the aspects you would expect to find in a Roman city. The streets are set out in a grid system, and have roads and pavements. The pavements have grooves where chariots and carts have worn them down, as the wheels have ground against the stone over many years.
There was clearly some sort of class system in the City; you can see this through the districts of smaller and larger houses. Amazingly paintings have been carefully restored on the walls of houses and buildings throughout Pompeii.
I find it so sad that one-day people were going about their lives, and with hours a whole City perished, never to be seen for thousands of years.
It is fascinating as you walk around Pompeii, had this tragedy not happened we would not have such a spy hole into the Roman way of life. It really is a must place to visit, the boys found it absolutely fascinating. Yet as fascinating as it is? A part of me felt so sad this tragedy ever happened.