On August 24th, 79 A.D. a two kilomter section of Mount Vesuvius blew up sending out a gigantic cloud of of poisonous gas, ash, small rock, and white-hot stones onto Pompeii and buried the town under 21 feet of debris. Scene from Discovery Channel's, "Last Day of Pompeii.
Karl Briullov. The Last Day of Pompeii. 1830-1833. Oil on canvas. The Russian Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia.
This bridge and gate are the entrance to Pompeii which became a Roman colony in 80 BC. The peace that came with Roman citizenship
made the walls and gates unnecessary. Many were demolished, unrepaired, or incorporated into houses built on the town's edge.
This was the Basilica, heart of financial activites, civil and commercial litigation. The building was abandoned after an earlier earthquake in A.D. 62 in which it was damaged.
It was 95 degrees the day we visited...for four hours.
The Forum. That's Vesusvius in the background, 7 miles away.
The same view in an old postcard
Here is a reconstructed view of the forum from a souvenir book.
The Temple of Jupiter in the center
Temple of Vespasian
The Macellum market area
At the rear stood a shrine to the Imperial Family
There are many homeless dogs living in Pompeii.
Bodies covered with ash and debris decomposed and left holes. Plaster was poured into holes revealing the position the person died in.
The souvenir books says that the burial of Pompeii took place very
rapidly over just two days and that the inhabitants were barely able to escape carrying just a few personal belongings. Many died due to the hesitation to leave their homes, poisonous fumes, or suffocation by ash.