Sunday, August 26, 2012

Pompei - A city covered by volcano ash

When we were in the Amalfi coast area in Italy, we visited Pompei, a city that was covered by volcano ash in 79 A.D. The volcano that erupted was Mt. Vesuvius. It covered Pompei and Herculanum. All the people perished. But their buildings stayed intact and frozen in time, until they were rediscovered in the 1700's.

Many treasures from the archeological dig are in the Naples Museum, in Naples Italy. I'll post pictures from the museum in the next post.

It was a large site, and I got lost in the Roman baths. I came out after waiting to get some pictures of the bath, and my group was gone. I walked up and down the street trying to find them. That's when I noticed that everyone in their early 20's was in a group walking around the site. I could not tell one group from the other. Except one group, a elderly group called the yellow hat group. They all were wearing yellow "Giligan's Island" type hats! I could pick them out a mile away!

I ended up walking back the way I came, and exited by the coliseum (yes Pompei had a coliseum too).
I still could not find them, so I walked around the outside of the site, and then ran into the tour leader. Thank goodness! It was hot and humid at the Pompei site! There is nothing like being lost in a dead city!

By the way, The Pompei coliseum was built before the Coliseum in Rome. After the Pompei fiasco, the  emperor of Rome wanted to give his citizens something, so he built a coliseum in Rome. It was started in 80 A.D. Must have used the Pompei one as a model!

Enjoy the pics.

The Pompei Coliseum

Detail of the coliseum walls and arches

A dedication plaque for the coliseum, written in Roman letters

Walkways to the seating area

Inside the coliseum. Some stairs were uncovered but
may remained covered by the ash

Detail of the coliseum. Even more preserved than the one
in Rome

This was a shopping area with outdoor vendors

Pompei map. I got lost at the bottom
of the map, and walked all the way to the
top of the map, where the coliseum is.

The Romans used terra cotta piping to carry water to the
buildings, and remove waste from the buildings

Our tour guide is showing us a restaurant. People would
see what was cooking in the pots on the counter, and order
food from the pots.

Another view of the kitchen. Notice the painting on the back wall

This is a Roman fresco painting. It looks very similar to
the Etruscan paintings in the tombs in Tarquenia (see post).
This leads us to believe the Etruscans taught the Romans
a thing or too about design.

This is a laundry. Clothes would be thrown in the tank, water
added and a wood trowel or oar would be used to move
the clothes around

Typical narrow streets in Pompei

The inside of a rich persons home

This is the garden of the rich persons home, villa style

An outdoor theater. When we stood in the center and clapped
our hands, it echoed around the walls of the theater.

They even had seat numbers back at that time! And the seats
were made of marble. How nice!

A view from the top of the theater

Inside the Roman baths. They had an outdoor area for
sports and leisure

Another view of the outdoor area

Inside the main entrance of the baths. The ceilings had frescos
painted on them

This person was in the baths at the time of the eruption. He
turned to ash, but his body shape was preserved by the ash. They said
he was a trader who was in for a visit. He was tall so they
think he was from Africa.

This was a servant at the baths

This show the inside of a hot bath. Slaves would
light fires with wood under the floor to create the
heat in the baths.

A cool bath that was preserved. I lost my group
waiting for this shot.

Another view of the cool bath

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