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and life along the winding road

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Pompeii, Italy

Pompeii was much larger than I had imagined and rather than a small village, it had once been a thriving town closer to the sea than it is now. (After the Mount Vesuvius eruption the debris and volcanic ash extended the coastline). There is still much of the town to uncover. The Italians were great engineers and the streets were laid out in an orderly fashion. The street pavements were bordered with light colored stone that reflected from lamps that pedestrians carried at night. Large stones were placed periodically so that people could cross the road which was often filled with water (they were placed wide enough apart to permit the wagon wheels to pass through). Pipes were revealed to show even at that time, these were used to bring water into the city. Unfortunately they were made of lead and caused many early deaths. There was a spa, swimming pool, courtyard for gladiators to practice in and an arena.
When Pompeii was first uncovered they found imprints of the bodies and filled these with plaster to show how people would have been overcome by the gases.
To add to the eeriness of the deserted town, thunder rumbled in the distance with what I can imagine was not unlike the sound of Vesuvius exploding in AD79.
Mount Vesuvius is an active volcano  and yet people continue to live at the foot of the mountain. With a view of Naples on one side of the road, the other shows miles of shanty towns and homes built illegally at the base of Mount Vesuvius. The Italian government has had little success in stopping residents from building in the danger zone of the volcano.
Courtyard where gladiators practiced. Many were prisoners and resided in cells around the courtyard.

Part of the courtyard reconstructed. 

Streets of Pompeii
Ceiling fresco in the spa area

Part of the spa where there were rooms for hot, cold and tepid water.


Joanne said...

Pompeii was a fave place - you captured the size of the place and the advanced civilization. It was amazing.

K9friend said...

Wow, I'd really love to visit Pompeii!

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