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DESTRUCTION AND EXCAVATION OF POMPEII, PART 1
On August 24, AD 79, the eruption of Mount Vesuvius destroyed Pompeii and other surrounding towns.
The nearby town of Herculaneum was buried under a wall of mud which poured down the side of the mountain.
Pompeii was destroyed by ash and hot rocks which descended on the town, burying it up to a depth of 20 feet.
Most Pompeiians died, having suffocated from the deadly sulfuric fumes.
Those, who had fled Pompeii and survived, abandoned the town, since it was not able to be rebuilt.
Eventually, a new layer of soil covered the town, and during the Middle Ages, nobody knew exactly where the town lay.
During the Middle Ages, the town of Pompeii was referred to as the civitas (Italian for “city”) but nobody even knew what “city” was buried there.
In 1594, an Italian architect, Fontana, constructing a water channel, found the remains of the town.
Finding the inscription “Pompeius”in the ruins, Fontana believed these buildings to be the ruins of the Roman politician Pompeius; nothing was done.
Finally, in 1748, Charles III, the king of Naples ordered an excavation of the site.
In 1763, treasure seekers realized that the site was the lost city of Pompeii.
No formal excavation of buildings was done though, as many saw this as a time to loot the treasures which they found.
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