ANCIENT POMPEII: FROZEN IN TIME
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Pompeii is an ancient Roman city that was unexpectedly buried in ash and rocks by a volcano on in 79 A.D. The small city, located in Italy, sat in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius, a very dangerous and deadly volcano.
In the year 79 A.D., the town of Pompeii was over 600 years old. It had been founded by the Oscans, who were a people that lived in Italy at that time. Pompeii was located at the mouth of the Sarno River near the Bay of Naples in southern Italy. The town was an important shipping port for goods that were being sent to Rome.
Vesuvius was a constant threat to the people in Pompeii and surrounding towns. The towns surrounding the volcano were plagued by small earthquakes and gas spitting from the volcano. In 62 A.D. an earthquake caused so much damaged to Pompeii that much of the city had to be rebuilt. For weeks before the big eruption, there were minor warnings signs that the volcano was going to erupt, such as all the town's wells drying up. However, the majority of people did not understand these warnings and ignored them. Strangely enough, the date of the eruption, August 24th, was on the festival day of Vulcan, the Roman God of fire.
The End of Pompeii
The eruption of Vesuvius in 79 A.D. was the first volcanic eruption to ever be recorded in detail. It was witnessed by Pliny the Younger who wrote of what he saw that day, in letters to the historian Tacitus. Pliny was staying in a small village about 18 miles away from the volcano when it erupted. He described the earthquake and the tsunami that happened before the eruption. He also explained what it looked like when the volcano erupted, how the air changed, and how it affected the people.
Pompeii: Frozen in Time
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