Pre­serv­ing Pom­peii

Look­ing af­ter a city that’s over 2,000 years old is far from an easy task

All About History - - ARMISTICE DAY -

01 Re­gio V

The cur­rent ex­ca­va­tions are tak­ing place here, un­cov­er­ing a part of the city that hasn’t seen the light of day since the erup­tion in 79 CE.

New tech­nolo­gies like lasers and drones are be­ing used to un­cover the half-hectare area in what’s been called one of the big­gest post­war digs in the world.

02 Villa of the Mys­ter­ies

From 1924 to 1961, a con­sid­er­able amount of ex­ca­vat­ing took place. One of the build­ings to be un­cov­ered in this pe­riod was the Villa of the Mys­ter­ies, a well-pre­served villa on the out­skirts of Pom­peii. Ar­chae­ol­o­gists also dug up most of Re­gio I and II.

03 Via dell’ab­bon­danza

While to­day this street makes up the ma­jor­ity of the ‘Pom­peii for all’ walk­ing route, it was heav­ily bombed dur­ing World War II, ham­per­ing ex­ca­va­tion ef­forts. It was around this time that Ve­su­vius erupted again and parts of the area were evac­u­ated.

“a river of poi­sonous gases hur­tled down the moun­tain at 100 miles an hour”

04 House of the Gla­di­a­tors

In 2010, tragedy struck. The House of the Gla­di­a­tors, which had been struck dur­ing the bomb­ing raid in the 1940s, sud­denly col­lapsed af­ter a bout of heavy rain­fall in the Bay of Naples. Thought to be a rel­a­tively sturdy build­ing, its col­lapse shocked many.

05 Ad­verse con­di­tions

Be­cause the city of Pom­peii isn’t cov­ered by any­thing, it’s open to the el­e­ments – and that cre­ates prob­lems for us to­day. A lot of what has been un­cov­ered by ar­chae­ol­o­gists over the years has suf­fered from wind, rain, light dam­age and even tourists and ar­chae­ol­o­gists them­selves.

06 Still un­der­ground

Just un­der one-third of Pom­peii still lies un­ex­ca­vated un­der­ground. Ar­guably, this is the safest place for the build­ings as here they can’t be dam­aged by the el­e­ments or the peo­ple con­stantly traips­ing through. It’s un­cer­tain if digs will take place here in the fu­ture.

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