Pompeii

Pompeii (/pɒmˈp(i)/, Latin: [pɔmˈpei̯.iː]) was an ancient city located in what is now the comune of Pompei near Naples in the Campania region of Italy. Pompeii, along with Herculaneum and many villas in the surrounding area (e.g. at Boscoreale, Stabiae), was buried under 4 to 6 m (13 to 20 ft) of volcanic ash and pumice in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79.

Pompeii
View of Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius
Shown within Italy
LocationPompei, Metropolitan City of Naples, Campania, Italy
Coordinates40°45′0″N 14°29′10″E
TypeSettlement
Area64 to 67 ha (170 acres)
History
Founded7th–6th century BC
AbandonedAD 79
Site notes
Websitewww.pompeiisites.org
Official nameArchaeological Areas of Pompeii, Herculaneum, and Torre Annunziata
TypeCultural
Criteriaiii, iv, v
Designated1997 (21st session)
Reference no.829
RegionEurope

Largely preserved under the ash, the excavated city offered a unique snapshot of Roman life, frozen at the moment it was buried,[1] although much of the detailed evidence of the everyday life of its inhabitants was lost in the excavations.[2] It was a wealthy town, with a population of ca. 11,000 in AD 79,[3] enjoying many fine public buildings and luxurious private houses with lavish decorations, furnishings and works of art which were the main attractions for the early excavators. Organic remains, including wooden objects and human bodies, were entombed in the ash. Over time, they decayed, leaving voids that archaeologists found could be used as moulds to make plaster casts of unique, and often gruesome, figures in their final moments of life. The numerous graffiti carved on the walls and inside rooms provide a wealth of examples of the largely lost Vulgar Latin spoken colloquially at the time, contrasting with the formal language of the classical writers.

Pompeii is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Italy, with approximately 2.5 million visitors annually.[4]

After many excavations prior to 1960 that had uncovered most of the city but left it in decay,[5] further major excavations were banned and instead they were limited to targeted, prioritised areas. In 2018, these led to new discoveries in some previously unexplored areas of the city.[6][7][8][9]


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