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Mount Vesuvius & The Ruins of Pompeii

Naples, Italy - Jan. 13, 2008

In the year 79 A.D. a massive eruption from Mount Vesuvius completely destroyed the city of Vesuvius. The city was covered in 6 meters of hot ash, pumice and cinders. The ancient city has been excavated and gives us a unique look into daily life during the Roman empire. The volcano had its last major eruption in 1944 and the modern city of Naples is in peril if the volcano becomes restless again. The city officials are so concerned about it that some families are being offered large sums of money to relocate from the high danger zone to safer areas.

Lost City of Pompeii

Vesuvius Viewed from Pompeii

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It is hard to believe that the eruption travelled all the way from the mountain, down into Pompeii and into the sea.

Vesuvius with a fresh, mid winter layer of snow on the summit.

 

Body Casts
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When the eruption engulfed the people of Pompeii, some of them were covered with ash & stones.

As the body decomposed, it left an empty void in the surrounding material. The archeologists have poured plaster into these voids and the end result is a remarkable representation of the unfortunate citizen.

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These casts are so detailed that you can even make out facial features.

The eruption happened so fast that most were unable to flee in time.

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Another body cast, in amongst other artifacts retrieved from the ruins.

The body cast of a contorted Roman-era dog.

The City of Pompeii
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A statue, scarred by the violent volcanic eruption.

One of the many open courtyards in Pompeii.

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A rainbow as seen through the ancient pillars of Pompeii

My unofficial guide to the city of Pompeii.

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Most of the roofs were collapsed by the sheer weight of the ash and rocks.

Cause & Effect. Could Naples meet with the same fate as its ancient neighbor?

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Incredible Roman architecture

Pillars near the Roman bath house.

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Inside one of the bath houses where the men would bathe daily.

The excavation must have been an incredibly difficult and time consuming process.

Frescoes
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These frescoes adorned the walls of the local Pompeii brothel.

They served as "menus" of what was available to the patrons.