Pompeii

Pompeii

“Disneyland for archaeologists,” were my first words when I first arrived at the site with seven others.  Due to the magnificent state of preservation in conjunction with its size–that would generally be considered as small if not so well preserved, this site is truly a place where a sort of Disneyland “magic” survives for those interested in rediscovering the past as well as writing history.  I could only afford to give myself five hours to “play-time,” even though it would take three days to thoroughly understand the site and even months to thoroughly examine it.  Therefore, I used my five hours wisely and constantly moved to see new things, and spending time on those parts that I needed to digest.

Pompeii is said to be founded somewhere between the late 7th and early 6th century BC by a mix of native, Etruscan, and Greek colonizers.  This blend of people eventually lost their home to the new 5th century Campanian power, the Samnites, who were the Romans strongest competitor before the Carthaginians.  When the Romans began centralizing power, they fought the Samnites in Campania between 343 and 290 BC and became the new owners of the villa.  Two centuries later, Pompeii desired equal rites as Roman citizens and began giving Rome trouble by rebelling.  Rome’s response included a siege of the city by P. Cornelius Sulla and a transformation of the town into a colony referred to as Cornelia Veneria Pompeianorum.  During the early empire Augustus and Tiberius decorated the city.  In 62AD earthquakes shook the city to pieces, but the city soon found itself well on its way to recovery.  Imperial building continued through Vespasian’s reign until August 24, 79AD.

Natalie explains the stepping stones in the street, and why they are placed where they are.

Discussion of door and wall paintings in the Villa of the Mysteries, one of more than one-hundred, at Pompeii.  Note: I stand corrected–these doors were only casts of the remains.  The casts are from the volcanic ash, but the wood interior disintegrated.  While these no longer exist, there still is some wood preserved at this site and at Ercolano.

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