Decent Essays

Pompeii is one of the world’s greatest archaeological treasures. Since its discovery in 1755 it has been a must see stop for tourists, becoming a stop on the Grand Tour, and archaeologists alike. The site at Pompeii holds a its visitors in captive awe, Stendhal wrote, “ you feel as if, just by being there, you know more about the place than any other scholar”, about his time in Pompeii. It is also said that a visit to the Temple of Isis in Pompeii at age thirteen inspired Mozart to write The Magic Flute twenty years later. All of this history and inspiration would have remained buried if not for the beginning of construction of the Sarno Canal in 1755. The archaeology of Pompeii has allowed a walk into the past. On August 24th and 25th 79 C.E. Pompeii was rocked by the massive eruption of Mount Vesuvius. The eruption was so massive that it is estimated to have been 100,000 times stronger than the nuclear bomb detonated in 1945 at Hiroshima. As Pliny the Younger described “iam cinere mixtisque pumicibus oppleta surrexerat,” now pumice with ash mixed in was rising. The ash buried the city and left it frozen as it was on that fateful day for nearly 1,700 years. As Interactive Archeology said, “Survivors of the eruption must have decided …show more content…

This shift was brought around by Amedeo Maiuri, the recently new chief archaeologist of Pompeii, in 1926. The focus shifted to the time well before the disaster. The original archeology of the site focused specifically on the city as it was when the disaster occurred. Maiuri’s approach is still in use today. As an archeologist at Pompeii explained for National Geographic, "Today we are interested in the development of the city," Ellis explains. "What was there first and how did it get to the point it was when it was destroyed?" This relatively new approach will allow for the discovery of more knowledge about Pompeii and the world’s history prior to 79

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