Without a doubt, the city of Pompeii is not only one of the world’s largest archaeological sites but thanks to the city being so well preserved, it is most certainly the most interesting, as it gives us a peek into a life that once was.   Excavations have revealed that Pompeii, had Greek origins and due to its fertile soils and proximity to the Gulf of Naples was a flourishing town.  It was also fast becoming the city of choice for many a Roman aristocrat who built opulent villas there to getaway from the bustling city of Rome.  Little did they know what fate lay ahead for them, when in 76AD,  the cataclysmic eruption of Mount Vesuvius obliterated life in Pompeii.

Surprisingly, the eruption was witnessed and documented by Pliny the Younger and it was said that the eruption was so intense that it plunged the area into darkness before showering the cities below with tons of ash and rock debris.  This deluge, compounded by the lethal pyroclastic flows instantly killed any survivors.  [Interesting fact: the word “volcano” was only invented in 1610].  What many don’t know is that the surrounding towns of Herculaneum, Stabiae, Torre Annunziata, suffered the same or worse fates.  Herculaneum which was closer to the mountain was completely enveloped in a mudslide.  A disaster so profound, that no one ever thought of starting life there again,  allowing the earth to swallow up the past.

All remained buried until 1599 when architect Domenico Fontana, whilst excavating a water tunnel under the River Sarno, discovered ruins with some amazing frescoes.  Astonishingly, he reburied his findings! Some believe  that he did this because of the explicit sexual nature of the frescoes.  So Pompeii lay in wait for another 150 years and it wasn’t until 1734, with the discovery of the amazing treasures of Herculaneum, that prompted the search for Pompeii which was finally rediscovered in 1748.

To this day, Pompeii that lay waiting for centuries to be discovered, is constantly unveiling treasures of the past and with only two thirds of the city uncovered,  still has a lot more to reveal.