Grand public buildings included an impressive forum and an amphitheatre; lavish villas and all kinds of houses, dating back to the 4th century bce , were also uncovered. Inside were some preserved remains of people sheltering from the eruption; others lay buried as they fled; bakeries were found with loaves still in the ovens.
The buildings and their contents revealed day-to-day life in the ancient world—and stirred 18th-century interest in all things classical. The city of Pompeii is famous because it was destroyed in 79 CE when a nearby volcano, Mount Vesuvius , erupted, covering it in at least 19 feet 6 metres of ash and other volcanic debris. The subsequent excavation of Pompeii and the surrounding areas in the midth century marked the start of the modern science of archaeology.
The archaeological sites at and around Pompeii are important because they provide a unique source of information about many aspects of social, economic, religious, and political life of the ancient world. Just after midday on August 24, fragments of ash and other volcanic debris began pouring down on Pompeii, quickly covering the city to a depth of more than 9 feet 3 metres. Pyroclastic material —a fluidized mixture of hot rock fragments, hot gases, and entrapped air moving at high speed in thick dark clouds that hug the ground—reached the city on the morning of August 25 and soon asphyxiated those who had not already been killed.
Additional pyroclastic flows and rains of ash followed, adding at least another 9 feet of debris. The ancient Roman city of Pompeii was located in what is now the Campania region of Italy , southeast of Naples.
It was at the southeastern base of Mount Vesuvius and was built on a spur formed by a prehistoric lava flow to the north of the mouth of the Sarnus modern Sarno River. Mount Vesuvius , the volcano located to the northwest of the ancient Roman city of Pompeii , has erupted many times throughout recorded history.
The eruption that destroyed Pompeii occurred on August 24, 79 CE. That eruption also destroyed the cities of Herculaneum , Stabiae , Torre Annunziata , and other nearby communities. Several city gates have been excavated. There are many remains of public buildings, generally grouped in three areas: the Forum, located in the large level area to the southwest; the Triangular Forum, standing on a height at the edge of the south wall overlooking the bay; and the Amphitheatre and Palaestra, in the east.
Hundreds of private homes of various architectural styles have also been excavated at Pompeii. They appeared to have escaped the first eruption but were killed by a second blast the next day. A study of the bones showed that one was younger and appeared to have done manual labour, and the other was older. In addition to brightly colored frescoes ,archaeologists revealed about 2,year-old foods available in some of the deep terra cotta jars, drink shop, a decorated bronze drinking bowl known as a patera, wine flasks, amphora , ceramic jars used for cooking stews and soups.
One fresco depicts a dog with a collar on a leash, possibly a reminder for customers to leash their pets. The complete skeleton of an "extremely small" adult dog was also discovered, which attests that selective breeding in the Roman epoch to obtain such a result had occurred. Objects buried beneath Pompeii were well-preserved for almost 2, years as the lack of air and moisture allowed little to no deterioration.
However, once exposed, Pompeii has been subject to both natural and man-made forces, which have rapidly increased deterioration. Weathering, erosion, light exposure, water damage, poor methods of excavation and reconstruction, introduced plants and animals, tourism, vandalism and theft have all damaged the site in some way. The lack of adequate weather protection of all but the most interesting and important buildings has allowed original interior decoration to fade or be lost.
Two-thirds of the city has been excavated, but the remnants of the city are rapidly deteriorating. Furthermore, during World War II many buildings were badly damaged or destroyed by bombs dropped in several raids by the Allied forces. The concern for conservation has continually troubled archaeologists. The ancient city was included in the World Monuments Watch by the World Monuments Fund , and again in and in In the organisation claimed that Pompeii "desperately need[ed] repair" and called for the drafting of a general plan of restoration and interpretation.
Kress Foundation. Today, funding is mostly directed into conservation of the site; however, due to the expanse of Pompeii and the scale of the problems, this is inadequate in halting the slow decay of the materials.
A study recommended an improved strategy for interpretation and presentation of the site as a cost-effective method of improving its conservation and preservation in the short term. In , UNESCO headquarters received a new management plan intended to help integrate management, conservation, and maintenance programs at the property.
The structure was not open to visitors, but the outside was visible to tourists. There was no immediate determination as to what caused the building to collapse, although reports suggested water infiltration following heavy rains might have been responsible.
Under the Romans after the conquest by Sulla in 89 BC, Pompeii underwent a process of urban development which accelerated in the Augustan period from about 30 BC. New public buildings include the amphitheatre with palaestra or gymnasium with a central natatorium cella natatoria or swimming pool, two theatres, the Eumachia Building and at least four public baths.
The amphitheatre has been cited by scholars as a model of sophisticated design, particularly in the area of crowd control. Other service buildings were the Macellum "meat market" ; the Pistrinum "mill" ; the Thermopolium a fast-food place that served hot and cold dishes and beverages , and cauponae "cafes" or "dives" with a seedy reputation as hangouts for thieves and prostitutes.
At least one building, the Lupanar , was dedicated to prostitution. The aqueduct was a branch of the great Serino Aqueduct built to serve the other large towns in the Bay of Naples region and the important naval base at Misenum. The castellum aquae is well preserved and includes many details of the distribution network and its controls.
Modern archaeologists have excavated garden sites and urban domains to reveal the agricultural staples of Pompeii's economy. Pompeii was fortunate to have had fertile soil for crop cultivation. The soils surrounding Mount Vesuvius preceding its eruption have been revealed to have had good water-retention capabilities, implying productive agriculture. The Tyrrhenian Sea 's airflow provided hydration to the soil despite the hot, dry climate. Evidence of wine imported nationally from Pompeii in its most prosperous years can be found from recovered artefacts such as wine bottles in Rome.
Agricultural policymaker Columella suggested that each vineyard in Rome produced a quota of three cullei of wine per jugerum , otherwise the vineyard would be uprooted. The nutrient-rich lands near Pompeii were extremely efficient at this and were often able to exceed these requirements by a steep margin, therefore providing the incentive for local wineries to establish themselves.
Remains of large formations of constructed wineries were found in the Forum Boarium, covered by cemented casts from the eruption of Vesuvius. Carbonised food plant remains, roots, seeds and pollens, have been found from gardens in Pompeii, Herculaneum, and from the Roman villa at Torre Annunziata.
They revealed that emmer wheat, Italian millet , common millet , walnuts, pine nuts, chestnuts, hazel nuts, chickpeas, bitter vetch , broad beans, olives, figs, pears, onions, garlic, peaches, carob, grapes, and dates were consumed. All but the dates could have been produced locally.
The discovery of erotic art in Pompeii and Herculaneum left the archaeologists with a dilemma stemming from the clash of cultures between the mores of sexuality in ancient Rome and in Counter-Reformation Europe. An unknown number of discoveries were hidden away again. A wall fresco depicting Priapus , the ancient god of sex and fertility, with his grotesquely enlarged penis, was covered with plaster. Many artefacts from the buried cities are preserved in the Naples National Archaeological Museum.
In , when King Francis visited the Pompeii exhibition there with his wife and daughter, he was so embarrassed by the erotic artwork that he had it locked away in a "secret cabinet" gabinetto segreto , a gallery within the museum accessible only to "people of mature age and respected morals". Re-opened, closed, re-opened again and then closed again for nearly years, the Naples "Secret Museum" was briefly made accessible again at the end of the s the time of the sexual revolution and was finally re-opened for viewing in Minors are still allowed entry only in the presence of a guardian or with written permission.
Pompeii has been a popular tourist destination for over years;  it was on the Grand Tour. By , it was attracting almost 2. To combat problems associated with tourism, the governing body for Pompeii, the 'Soprintendenza Archeologica di Pompei', have begun issuing new tickets that allow tourists to visit cities such as Herculaneum and Stabiae as well as the Villa Poppaea , to encourage visitors to see these sites and reduce pressure on Pompeii.
Pompeii is a driving force behind the economy of the nearby town of Pompei. Many residents are employed in the tourism and hospitality industry, serving as taxi or bus drivers, waiters, or hotel staff.
Excavations at the site have generally ceased due to a moratorium imposed by the superintendent of the site, Professor Pietro Giovanni Guzzo. The site is generally less accessible to tourists than in the past, with less than a third of all buildings open in the s being available for public viewing today.
Originally built by Giuseppe Fiorelli between and , the Antiquarium of Pompeii began as an exhibition venue displaying archaeological finds that represented the daily life of the Ancient city. The building suffered extensive damage in during the World War II bombings and again in due to an earthquake. The museum was closed to the public for 36 years before being reopened in as a space for temporary exhibitions.
The museum was re-opened on the 25 January as a permanent exhibition venue. Visitors can see archaeological discoveries from the excavations, casts of the victims of the Mount Vesuvius eruption as well as displays documenting Pompeii's settlement history prior to becoming a thriving Roman city.
The film Journey to Italy , starring George Sanders and Ingrid Bergman , includes a scene at Pompeii in which they witness the excavation of a cast of a couple who perished in the eruption. Pompeii was the setting for the British comedy television series Up Pompeii! Pompeii also featured in the second episode of the fourth season of revived BBC science fiction series Doctor Who , named " The Fires of Pompeii ",  which featured Caecilius as a character.
The rock band Pink Floyd filmed a live concert, Pink Floyd: Live at Pompeii , in which they performed six songs in the city's ancient Roman amphitheatre. The audience consisted only of the film's production crew and some local children. Siouxsie and the Banshees wrote and recorded the punk-inflected dance song " Cities in Dust ", which describes the disaster that befell Pompeii and Herculaneum in AD The song appears on their album Tinderbox.
The jacket of the single remix of the song features the plaster cast of a chained dog killed in Pompeii. Pompeii is a Robert Harris novel featuring an account of the aquarius's race to fix the broken aqueduct in the days before the eruption of Vesuvius. The novel was inspired by actual events and people. The lyrics refer to the city and the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. Pompeii is a German-Canadian historical disaster film produced and directed by Paul W.
This event was considered the first in the amphitheatre to feature an audience since the AD 79 eruption of Vesuvius. The Temple of Apollo. Fresco from the Villa dei Misteri. Young woman with wax tablets and stylus so-called " Sappho " , fresco on gesso.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Ancient Roman city near modern Naples, Italy. This article is about the classical Roman city. For the modern Italian city, see Pompei. For the Classical Roman leader, see Pompey. For the Roman family, see Pompeia gens. For the Pacific island, see Pohnpei.
For other uses, see Pompeii disambiguation. Main article: Conservation issues of Pompeii and Herculaneum. See also: Conservation and restoration of Pompeian frescoes. Main article: Pompeii in popular culture. The House of the Faun. Touring Club Italiano in Italian.
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Retrieved 24 February Retrieved 30 January Ultratop Billboard Brasil. Retrieved 5 June Many of these villas were reburied after excavation, but a few can be seen, notably the Villa of the Mysteries. The city of Pompeii was shaped irregularly because it was built on a prehistoric lava flow.
Excavations indicate that the southwestern part of the town is the oldest, but scholars do not agree on the stages by which the walls were expanded or on who the builders were.
The walls are 2 miles 3 km in circumference, and they enclose an area of about acres 66 hectares. Seven city gates have been excavated. The chief street running in a southeast-northwest direction was the Via Stabiana; it connected the Porta Vesuvio, or Vesuvius Gate feet [44 metres] above sea level , in the highest part of the city, with the Porta di Stabia, or Stabiae Gate 26 feet [8 metres] , in the lowest part.
Through this gate came traffic from the Sarnus River and Stabiae. The public buildings are for the most part grouped in three areas: the Forum elevation feet [34 metres] , located in the large level area on the southwest; the Triangular Forum 82 feet [25 metres] , standing on a height at the edge of the south wall overlooking the bay; and the Amphitheatre and Palaestra, in the east.
Dominating the Forum on the north was the temple dedicated to the Capitoline triad of deities: Jupiter , Juno , and Minerva. To the east was the Macellum, or large provision market. To the south were the small sanctuary of the city Lares guardian deities , built after the earthquake in 62 ce ; the Temple of Vespasian; and the imposing headquarters of the woolen industry, erected by the wealthy patroness Eumachia. Opposite the Capitolium, on the southern end of the Forum, were the meeting place of the city council and the offices of the magistrates of the city.
The large basilica , with its main room surrounded on four sides by a corridor, is the most architecturally significant building in the city; it is of considerable importance in studying the origin and development of the Christian basilica. It served as a covered exchange and as a place for the administration of justice.
To the west was the Temple of Venus Pompeiana, patron deity of Pompeii. Across from the basilica was the Temple of Apollo , one of the earliest in the city.
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