Ancient Pompeii, Italy
If you were an individual walking across this forum during two fateful days in 79 AD, you would most likely have died. (LOCATION)
Archeologists and historians are not completely sure of the precise date that the volcano in the background, Mt. Vesuvius, erupted in a explosive fashion, sending an umbrella-like crowd of steam, pumice and debris skyward, but the end result is now well known. In 79 AD, about 20,000 Romans, then living in the port town of Pompeii, were faced with trying to escape or die as their town became buried many meters deep in the falling ash and pumice from the exploding volcano.
When our tour group arrived at the entrance to the ruins of the ancient town of Pompeii, we were handed over to a very knowledgeable and friendly local guide, Nick, who assured us that Vesuvius, although still classed as an active volcano, had shown no signs of being ready to erupt again on this sunny July day.
With that reassurance, our group spread out across the road and headed toward the ruins along a roadway lined with tall Cypress, Stone Pines (Umbrella Pines) and flowering plants.
Pompeii was built on a hill above a coastal plain and at one time was a partially walled location.
We entered the ruins along Via Stabiana which passes by the theater Quadriporticus. The larger Pompeii open-air theater is visible in the background.
The rapid engulfing of the town of Pompeii, has left archeologists with a treasure trove of information about construction methods and life styles and activities in this period of Roman history. An earthquake which occurred 17 years before the Mt. Vesuvius eruption caused significant damage so the buried city showed various methods of construction both from before the earthquake hit and then some of the repair work that followed.