Pompeii AD 79

By Liz

I flew from London to Rome with my daughter, to meet my husband. He rented a car and we drove to Pompeii. It is about 200 miles from Rome.

The streets in Pompeii are paved with stones and are made of hard grey lava.

Mount Vesuvius had erupted – lava pebbles from the cone, light white pumice, heavier gray pumice, hardened volcanic sand, sandy ash, ash, ashy top soil. The excavation took years to be done – excavation was still being done in 1938-39. Amphitheater was 1938-39

The people died of suffocation.  Some parts of Pompeii were under 40 feet of ash and ruins from Mt Vesuvius. Herculanium was right under the volcano. The total casualties were never estimated. The first few hours of escaping was their only chance for survival. Some escaped by sea. The people who tried to collect valuables, died of sulphurous fumes. Most of the villas below Mt. Vesuvius had disappeared after the volcanic mud washed down the mountainside.

The people in the area had been very rich. At the time, Greeks had household slaves. They carried Greek names and most were Greek-speaking slaves. Slave families sold their children into slavery.

The excavation was very difficult to do because of debris which had to be moved. Pompeii was closed for years while we were in Europe. Pompeii had been wiped off the map.

It was a very unusual place to visit. Although the ruins will always be there, looters and thieves took bronze and valuables. This was an example through time where greed cast its spell.

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