30 Amazing pictures of Pompeii

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Ancient Pompeii Captured in 30 Breathtaking Photographs

The cataclysmic eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD was a spectacularly destructive event in ancient history.

campania

The eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD is undoubtedly one of the most remarkable and devastating events in ancient history. This volcanic eruption occurred in the region of Campania, Italy, and had profound consequences, both immediate and long-term.

The eruption of Mount Vesuvius unleashed a cataclysmic force that resulted in the complete destruction of two towns, Pompeii and Herculaneum, as well as many other smaller villas in the vicinity. These settlements were not only buried but also preserved under layers of pumice and ash, which acted as a time capsule, freezing them in time.

pictures of Pompeii
Pompeii – between 1890 and 1905. Hand colored

Preservation Through Plaster Casts

One of the most fascinating aspects of the aftermath of this eruption is the incredible plaster casts of victims and buildings that have been unearthed over the years. These casts provide a unique and haunting glimpse into the daily life of the Roman inhabitants of Pompeii and Herculaneum. The technique of creating these casts involved pouring plaster into voids left by decomposed bodies, thereby preserving the shape and posture of those who perished during the eruption. Similarly, molds were made of the empty spaces within the ruins, allowing us to reconstruct buildings and understand their architecture.

pictures of Pompeii
Road Street of Abundance, postcard ca. 1920-1923

Rediscovery of Pompeii

Remarkably, Pompeii remained hidden and forgotten for about 1,500 years after its obliteration in 79 AD. It wasn’t until 1599 that the site was accidentally rediscovered, when workers digging an underground channel stumbled upon the ruins. However, the true significance of this rediscovery was not immediately recognized.

related article: the cities built by the Romans, Facts, Images & History of the Appian Way, The astonishing mosaics of the Roman Villa del Casale

It wasn’t until 1748, nearly 150 years after the initial rediscovery, that Pompeii gained broader attention and recognition. This was largely due to the efforts of the Spanish engineer Rocque Joaquin de Alcubierre, who conducted extensive excavations at the site. Alcubierre’s work helped unveil the true extent of the ancient city and contributed significantly to our understanding of Roman life and culture.

Pictures of Pompeii

pictures of Pompeii
Street of the Tombs ca. 1900. Hand colored
pictures of Pompeii
Pompeii and Herculaneum were two ancient Roman cities in Campania, at the bottom of the Mount Vesuvius. Ca 1890 and 1905. Hand colored
pictures of Pompeii
Excavation of the Temple of Isis at Pompeii, Gouache by Pietro Fabris (Italian Painter, active c. 1740-1792) in the book William Hamilton, Campi Phlegraei, Abb. XXXI.
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Pompeii from south-west; made by Friedrich Federer in 1850.

Pompeii population was approximately 20,000. The city was located in an area in which Romans had their holidays villas. The first evidence for the destruction was a letter written by Pliny the Younger who saw the eruption from a distance. He described the death of his uncle Pliny the Elder who died trying to rescue citizens.

pictures of Pompeii
Last Days of Pompeii, 1830-1833. Oil on canvas. 456.5 x 651 cm. The State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia

Victims

pictures of Pompeii
pictures of Pompeii
pictures of Pompeii
The people and buildings of Pompeii were covered in up to twelve different layers of tephra, in total 25 meters deep, which rained down for about 6 hours.

The objects that lay beneath the city have been well preserved for centuries because of the lack of air and moisture. Pompeii had a complex water system, an amphitheatre, gymnasium and a port. Baths, brothels, swimming pools, aqueduct many houses, forum, markets, restaurants, shops, hotels and some out-of-town villas like the Villa of the Mysteries remain well preserved.

pictures of Pompeii
Villa of Ara Massima
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Roman fresco, Villa of Mysterii
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Wallpainting at the Villa of Mysterii
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Terentius Neo with wife. Terentius was a baker of humble origins who climbed the social ladder
pictures of Pompeii
Boscotrecase, Agrippa Postumo Villa. Sacral-Idyllic Landscape.

Details of everyday life are preserved as well. The numerous graffiti carved on the walls and inside rooms provides a wealth of information regarding Roman lifestyle.

pictures of Pompeii
Peristyle of the House of the Vettii immediately after restoration (ca. 1900). Between 1890 and 1905
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House of Fight
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House of Punished Love
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Remains of a bakery
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Castellum Aquae Pompeii

Some aspects of the culture were distinctly erotic, including frequent use of the phallus as apotropaion or good-luck charm in various types of decoration.

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LENTE IMPELLE means “Please, push slowly”
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A character with the beard and giant erect phallus of Priapus
pictures of Pompeii
Pompeian wall painting, from one of the Therms (baths)
pictures of Pompeii
pictures of Pompeii
pictures of Pompeii
pictures of Pompeii
pictures of Pompeii
pictures of Pompeii
pictures of Pompeii

[Source: Wikipedia 1 , 2 Photo: Commons.WikiMedia]

topics: pictures of pompeii, old photos of Italy, old photos of Pompeii, visiting the ruins of Pompeii

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