Pompeii Megan Pack And Jessica Vlasses
“The Silver Lining” • Although approximately 20,000 lives were lost, Pompeii provides us with a perfectly preserved glimpse of the past – 79 A.D. to be exact. • Buildings, artwork, and even some people were preserved. • Because of Pompeii’s long and varied history of ownership, foreign influences—such as the practice of Egyptian religious rites and the use of Greek architecture—are evident everywhere in the city.
What preserved the city? • The rain of ash, pumice and lithics that initially fell was not lethal. • Nearly 24 hours later, pyroclastic surges began. • Pyroclastic flow is a ground-hugging avalanche of hot ash, pumice, rock fragments and volcanic gas, which can travel faster than 100 km/hr.
What preserved the city? Cont. • 3 meters of pumice fell, but when the surges reached Pompeii, the waves smashed doors and left corpses mummified in blankets of gaseous surge and pumice.
After the Eruption • Pompeii was never reoccupied or rebuilt. • Romans looted the site shortly after the eruption. • A formal excavation of the city did not begin until 1748; which is why Pompeii is considered “the forgotten city.”
Archeological Discovery Timeline • In 1748, the exploration of the forgotten site began. • 1806-1815 excavation methods changed. • 1860- most of the Western portion of the city had been excavated
Timeline Continued • 1863-1923 excavation was even more systematic • Giuseppe Fiorelli used plaster casts in 1875 • 1980- Earthquake that required rebuilding in 1984
Map of Excavations 44 of the 66 hectares of urban land are exposed today. Some believe that the remaining 22 hectares should be left unexcavated to preserve it for future generations.
What was found then? • First archeological excavations were conducted to find valuables. After taking them, the site was filled back in or left to decay. House of Vestals- one of the first parts of the city to be cleared of volcanic debris in the 18th century
What is being done now? • Conservation • Rebuilding • Finding out more about the past
Resources • http://touritaly.org/pompeii/pompeii-main.htm • http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ancient/romans/pompeii_rediscovery_01.shtml • http://www.fieldmuseum.org/pompeii/pompeii.asp • http://www.pompeiitrust.org/research.html • http://www2.pompeiisites.org/database/pompei/pompei2.nsf/555FFD09471662B6C1256D400052DB80/3CB7F9F3EE8E809AC1256F19004A3A7D?OpenDocument • http://www.archaeology.org/interactive/pompeii/index.html