I'm delighted to share my pictures of Pompeii with you! It was my second time visiting this ancient, doomed yet utterly fascinating city, and there's still so much more to discover.
The excavation of Pompeii continues. I won't get into a lot the history of Pompeii, but as you'll see, these people lived just as you and I.
They had homes. Entertainment. Shops. Sewers!! And water pipes alongside the roads were also discovered. (They were made of lead. The lead in the pipes that brought water throughout the city no doubt contributed to the reduced life expectancy of these people.) It's estimated that the city was built around the 8th or 9th century BC. And it soon became a thriving metropolis.
Sewers discovered at Pompeii
Lead water pipes at Pompeii
The small white pieces of marble reflects in the dark allowing you to see the road at night.
Just to give you an idea of the size of Pompeii today, here is an aerial view.
It's unknown exactly which day, but one day in the latter part of 79 AD, the volcano, Mount Vesuvius (thought to be extinct), shortly after midday, erupted to life.
Why didn't people leave immediately? Because over the next 48 hours the volcano had appeared to have calmed down. Many people stayed behind, refusing to evacuate, because they thought they were safe.
But Mount Vesuvius wasn't done.
Within 2 days of its awakening, all hell broke loose.
Suddenly, and with intense fury, it spewed toxic gases and poured molten lava, destroying Pompeii, its people and all forms of life for miles and miles around.
The flames from the volcano shot high into the sky, but it was the black smoke it emitted that blocked out the sun.
Adding to the apocalyptic scene, were the earthquakes and massive tidal waves the volcano incited.
This went on for 3 days.
Then came the silence.
Buried under 15 to 20 feet of ash---Pompeii was captured in a moment in time.
Area affected by the eruption of MT. VESUVIUS
Allow me to show you only a *very* small portion of this incredible ancient city. NOTE: YOU CAN CLICK ON THE IMAGES FOR A LARGER VIEW
(Below) For those who died before the destruction of the city. This is where they buried their dead.
Men's Forum Baths (Below)
Sadly, the women didn't get anything this fancy.
Interior of some of the Houses
Dining Room (Below)
Another Dining Room (Below)
Courtyard with Doghouse (Below)
On the ground outside the front entrance of one of the homes is this mosaic of a dog with the inscription that when translated means "Beware of Dog" (Below) Unfortunately the inscription is cut out of my photo).
The Red-Light District in Pompeii
In need of a prostitute?
It is the oldest profession, after all. And Pompeii definitely had its share.
There were *many* brothels in Pompeii. In fact, it's estimated that there was one brothel per one thousand people. Below are erotic frescoes discovered in one of the brothels we visited in Pompeii. You can click on them if you'd like to see a larger view. They're incredible. Were they there for inspiration? Or were they some type of menu---"I'd like to do that one, please." ;)
Whatever the answer, they prove no matter what, people are people. They don't change. :)
Warning: Graphic frescoes of sexual positions.
How did you know you were in the brothel district?
Well, by the giant penis carved into the wall, of course. (Below)
Inside the brothel...you need a bed. This is a typical room. There would have been a mattress on the stone bed.
When excavation started in Pompeii, it didn't take long to find bodies. They are now forever preserved by the ash. I only photographed a few of the victims of Mt. Vesuvius (the last five pics here). I included these others to give you a glimpse of the enormity of lives lost.
As you will see, many died covering their noses and mouths against the gas and ash.
Closeup on Female Victim--
As you can see, she was pregnant.
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Contest for the Glass Necklace from Venice ends Saturday Nov. 12th 2011. Winner will be selected at random on Sunday Nov. 13th, 2011.
I hope you enjoyed my tour of Pompeii. :)