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The Eruption | Finding Pompeii
City of Pompeii
The Destruction of Pompeii

Eruption of Mt. Vesuvius

                               Before the Eruption

  • When Pompeii was destroyed in 79 AD, the population was roughly 20,000.
  • 60% of the population was freemen while 40% were slaves.
  • Two thirds of the city were occupied by private buildings such as shops, offices, inns, and houses,
  • Outside of the city walls was the Necropolis or cemetary.
  • The port of Pompeii was originally on the coast of the Bay of Naples, but the exact location has not been found.
  • Its been said that the coast line moved further from Pompeii after the eruption of 79 AD due to the ash and pumice.

                                  The Eruption

  • August 24th, 79 AD is said to have been a beautiful day until Mt. Vesuvius awoke and began releasing smoke and rumbling.
  • At midnight Mt. Vesuvius collapsed at the top and sent an avalanche of rocks and gases to Herculaneum, the other city majorly destroyed on the day of the eruption.
  • Ash and pumice still fell on Pompeii for hours throughout the night, about six inches fell per hour.
  • The next morning though, is when a fourth avalanche fell sending ash and gases and rocks to Pompeii, it buried the town and the towns people.

                 Results of the Eruption

  • 2,000 people died during the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius, many by suffocation from ash.
  • About 20% of the population were killed.
  • In some areas of Pompeii, 20 feet of ash and stone buried the city.
  • Pompeii would remain this way till around 1748, when a peasant found parts of Pompeii under his vineyard.