Friday, November 28, 2008


Here are some pictures to the excavated ancient Roman town of Pompeii. The most famous archeological site in the world, it was buried under a storm of ash and cinders from the massive Mount Vesuvius eruption in 79 AD. It was lost for 1,700 years and only reappeared after accidental discoveries led to its identification in 1748.

17 years before the eruption of Vesuvius the town experienced an earthquake which damaged many buildings. The inhabitants repaired cracks in foundations and walls with these bricks.

A shot of the volcano in the background. You can see the cone, covered by clouds.

The welfare state was alive and well even in the first century. This was a device for measuring the allotment of grain per person or family depending on their status and rank.

An altar that was dedicated to Jove.

This is a building which holds the hundred upon hundreds of amphorae and other artifacts that are waiting to be cataloged. All are originals.

A plaster cast of a dog which died during the eruption. You can see its muscles twisted in agony. The ash and lava which covered people and animals solidified, leaving a void the shape of the body after it had decomposed. This void was then filled with plaster, and the ash removed, leaving archeologists with these casts.

A cast of a woman covering her mouth trying to escape the sulfurous gasses.

An anchor, amid miscellaneous other artifacts.

This was an ancient safe. The metal is quite corroded as you can see.

This is one of the streets of the town. The large stones in the middle were so that pedestrians could traverse the muddy streets which were often filled with sewage, and also served to block areas of town from carts and other animal-drawn vehicles.

They had street signs back then too. This was the street of the porters which led to the market.

The house of a very wealthy family. This is the central atrium.

The interior of the house. The doors lead to bedrooms. Note the mosaic on the floor.

This was the equivalent of a fast-food restaurant back then. The openings are large jugs built into a stone counter with a fire underneath to keep soup and other foods warm.

Another view of the street, with two exits for sewage and rain water also visible. These openings led into the cloaca, the main sewer of the city.

This was the shop of a baker. You can see a flour mill in the foreground and a stone oven (not very different from the ones still used to make pizzas in today) in the background.

Another house, this time showing the room dedicated to the family gods, complete with the little shrine where offerings were left to statues.

An elaborately painted room. These frescoes are all original.

Augustin, mom, and Andrew walking through the 2,000 year old city.

A large square in front of the theater where patrons gathered at intermission.

The theater itself.

Next we visited the modern town of Pompeii to visit the famous church of Our Lady of Pompeii. Here is the facade from the outside, in the evening.

The stunning ceiling.

The image of Our Lady of Pompeii above the main altar.

Last picture - some of the beautiful mosaics in the apse.


DelGrosso said...

This is awesome seeing Pompeii. The Church is beautiful. Nicholas has the same picture of Our Lady of Pompeii hanging in his room.

ANA K said...

Your pictures are great but... there are none of Philomena.