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Transcript of Pompeii
It was founded around the 7th - 6th century B.C. by people of central Italy called Oscans
It stands on a spur north of the Sarnus River
It spans 163 acres
After being conquered by the Romans, it became a Roman colony, and it played an important role as a passage for goods sent towards Rome What is Mount Vesuvius? An active stratovolcano located in the Gulf of Naples, Italy
Erupted in 79 A.D. and destroyed Pompeii and Herculaneum
4,203 ft high
Some previous eruptions: Avellino Eruption 1800 BC (destroyed many Bronze age settlements), 1906, 1929 Stratovolcano - tall, cone shaped volcano built up of alternate layers of lava and ash
Examples of other Stratovolcanoes: Mount Fuji (Japan), Mayon Volcano (Philippines), and Stromboli (Italy) What was the Volcanic Eruption of 79 AD The eruption of Mount Vesuvius released a 20.5 mile high cloud of volcanic ash and stones over Pompeii and Herculaneum (the two affected cities)
It emitted hot molten rock and debris at a rate of 1.5 million tons per second
Killed 16,000 people
Eruption lasted two full days
The eruption of 79 AD is believed to have been caused by several earthquakes prior to the eruption
Earthquakes from 17 years before to weeks before
Excerpt from an account of the day of the eruption by Pliny the Younger
"Broad sheets of flame were lighting up many parts of Vesuvius; their light and brightness were the more vivid for the darkness of the night... it was daylight now elsewhere in the world, but there the darkness was darker and thicker than any night." By the end, this eruption let out one hundred thousand times as much thermal energy as the atomic bomb at Hiroshima Interesting Fact *Important*
Most of the information of the Eruption of 79 AD comes from an eyewitness account written by Pliny the Younger, a Roman administrator and poet. This is the only primary source we have of the events at Pompeii. What Happened to Pompeii? The eruption completely engulfed the city killing 16,000 people (including Herculaneum) from hydrothermal pyroclastic flows
It buried the cities under tons of ash and volcanic debris
The dead bodies of the citizens were preserved for thousands of years until their discovery in an archaeological dig in 1748
There were many archaeological digs of Pompeii in 1700's but they weren't taken seriously until they came back to Pompeii and set up several more digs years later. Then they discovered the city was preserved perfectly from the eruption What Discoveries Were Made From the Archalelogical Digs? Due to the lack of air and moisture, anything buried under the pile of Volcanic ash (Pompeii) was left virtually untouched
Interesting discoveries: fully intact complete set of surgical tools, an entire gallery of Roman art from the time, bodies of humans and animal and many other things
In addition, rather than just discovering physical treasures many other ideas and information about the structure of Pompeii was able to be uncovered
Ex) information about the economy and social structure How Did These discoveries Enhance Our Understanding of Roman Life? It gives us clear picture into Roman life
The tools and discoveries are in perfect condition which allows archaeologists to really see the level of technology back then without having to guess or make assumptions
Also we are able to learn tons of information about how Pompeii ran Ex) art, morality, social structure, economy
The entire city is one living primary source
It portrays the daily lifestyle of the people Ex) bodies, shops, and even perfectly preserved pieces of bread Thesis In addition to the volcanic eruption of 79 AD being an event for the ages scientifically, it left the city of Pompeii perfectly preserved, which led to a better understanding of ancient Roman life.