At Pompeii, tourists will get awed to look at some of the best preserved bodies of the eruption victims of 79 AD. Excavations over the years has brought to light hundreds of bodies that were unearthed and found to be in ship shape condition. The faces, when you see, will tell you about the horrific repercussions of that fateful day as you can see fear and desperation on them. When the eruption happened, it flash heated the people and they died instantly. The survivors who weren’t flash heated must have died due to asphyxiation and burns.
When Pompeiians were least prepared, the Vesuvius erupted, causing massive destruction and burial of the entire city. It was after noontime that the volcanic Vesuvius erupted on the fateful day of August 24th, but officially, it was morning time when it started expelling molten rock and pumice into the air. The eruption was 100 times more strong than that of the nuclear bomb dropped at Hiroshima in Japan. The thick volcanic ash blanketed the entire city and turned the afternoon sky dark.
12. The Secret Cabinet of Pompeii and its erotic treasures
Pompeii was a golden city of ancient Rome and sex was a popular topic with painters and artists. When the frescoes were discovered, the theme found to have been common for all of them was sex. Even the other household items bore a sexual theme. During the visit of King Francis I of Naples to Pompeii exhibition in 1819, it came to light that ancient Rome was much liberal than what the world is today. Since, the exhibition had a display of erotic artwork, it was considered inappropriate by the king who ordered it to be locked away and viewed in private only by people of mature age. It was reopened and closed several times before it was finally showcased to the public in 2000.
This is one of the most interesting Pompeii facts that readers must know about and it relates to its getting rediscovered after almost 1500 years. The ancient buried site of Pompeii was lost for 1500 years. Then, in 1599, it was rediscovered accidentally while digging an aqueduct. This resulted in a chance encounter of workers with the erotic themed walls that once glorified Pompeii. The frescoed walls discovered contained not merely erotic artwork but also the name of the city.
Its quite unknown to many that before the great Vesuvius erupted and buried Pompeii in 79 AD, no one really knew about the word volcano. Volcano is derived from the word ‘Vulcan’ a Roman god. He was worshiped as the God of metal forgery and flame. His Greek counterpart is Hephaestus.
15. Giuseppe Fiorelli and the preserved plaster casts
Some facts about Pompeii are hard to believe, just like the fact about its victims’s bodies. The bodies that are displayed in various postures were all recreated by Giuseppe Fiorelli. This genius of a man was given the charge of the excavations in 1860 and looking at the voids containing human remains, he invented a technique of plastering the bodies to recreate the forms of the deceased victims. He injected plaster into the voids and created the bodies that still haunt us.
A poet and a Roman administrator called Pliny the Younger witnessed the whole tragedy unfolding before his eyes and 25 years later, wrote a vivid account of the great disaster that destroyed Pompeii. Pliny watched the eruption wrecking its havoc from a distance and also questioned those who survived. It is because of Pliny that we have full evidence of the happenings of that fateful day. In 16th century, these letters were discovered.
Contrary to the popular belief that there is only one crater in Mount Vesuvius, there are two of them. The original one and the other that was formed when the mountain’s top collapsed due to an eruption that happened in the past.
While most people think that the Pompeii disaster took place on August 24, it, however may not be true after all. There are some archaeological studies about the ancient excavated site that propose that Pompeii was buried after three months, i.e, on November 23rd. You all will be surprised to know that there is a document that corroborates this claim.