10 Pompeii Facts

Here are some facts about the city of Pompeii.

  • Pompeii was an ancient city in southern Italy. The remains of the settlement are located near to Naples.
  • The city of Pompeii was built at the foot of the volcano, Mount Vesuvius.
  • Pompeii predates Roman rule. Historians think it was a settlement built by the Oscan civilization in about the 6th century BC. It was then controlled by the Samnites, before becoming a Roman city in about 80 BC.
  • The city grew over the years and the original wooden buildings were slowly replaced with structures of brick and stone.
  • During the first century AD,  Pompeii was developing into a flourishing city port. It was a prosperous resort for numerous wealthy visitors. It contained many Roman villas, an amphitheatre, two theatres, several temples and an aqueduct system.
  • In 62 AD a severe earthquake did a significant amount of damage to Pompeii’s buildings. It took several years to rebuild the city after the damage and many of the residents relocated to other Roman cities.
  • Mt Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD. The eruption buried the city under volcanic ashes and cinders and exposed the city’s 20,000 inhabitants to blasts of hot air with temperatures of up to 250 degrees C, easily hot enough to kill even those people who were sheltering inside stone buildings.
  • Pliny the Younger, a Roman writer, witnessed the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, and his uncle, Pliny the Elder, lost his life trying to rescue the people of Pompeii.
  • Volcanic ashes completely covered the city, preserving the buildings.
  • People had forgotten that Pompeii even existed, and it lay buried under the ground for hundreds of years. In 1748 the excavation of Pompeii was begun and it archaeologists are still working on the site to this day.
  • In 1863, Giuseppe Fiorelli realised that some of the voids and gaps in the layers of ash were left by the decomposed bodies of Pompeii’s inhabitants. He pumped plaster into the holes and produced accurate casts of the people of Pompeii. A similar process is carried out today, using resin instead of plaster.

Pompeii

  • The eruption of Vesuvius was quite sudden, and many of Pompeii’s inhabitants lost their lives while going about their daily work.
  • Pompeii was not the only city covered by volcanic ash as a result of the eruption of Mt Vesuvius. Herculaneum and Stabiae may not be as famous, but the ash and cinders preserved them too.
  • Many of the buildings of Pompeii uncovered by archaeologists were in fantastically good condition and many of the walls were still covered with frescoes. Hundreds of well-preserved artifacts were also found.
  • Pompeii is now a major tourist attraction. It is UNESCO World Heritage Site and it attracts more than 2 million visitors every year.

What next? Discover more Roman facts or learn more about volcanoes.

83 Responses to 10 Pompeii Facts

  1. thanks ! this really helped.me learn about pompeii ! it also helped me a lot on my report thanks !★★★★★ five stars !

  2. Thanks James! This really helped me, took me about 10 minutes whilst I was bored I thought and get my research done, it was quick and simple!

  3. thanks this website is cool and this has just helped me with my history work. thanks! how ever made is website is a legend. 🙂

  4. I really like this website its really enjoyable. Thank you so so so much and it really did help me with my history work like Ben! 🙂 😉

  5. Thanks a ton! This site was quick and easy, supplying all the facts I needed for my project! I will look for this site again for my projects! Thanks whoever designed this website, you deserve a lot more than thanks, but this is all I can do!

  6. this really helped me with an exam! I had to write and in class assessment with only this to revise before I wrote a whole essay on Pompeii that I knew nothing about!
    I got 18/20 and I only looked at this website!
    thankyou so mch!!!!

  7. We visited Pompeii in April, 2014 and found it fascinating! I can’t wait to go to the LA Science Center exhibit tomorrow. If you haven’t been to Pompeii…GO, if at all possible. It is amazing!!!

  8. I AM VISITING THIS CITY IN SEPTEMBER THIS YEAR YOUR FACT SHEET HELPS ME UNDERSTAND WHAT HAPPENED AND WHEN THANKS

  9. Although the facts are interesting there is no substitute for walking down the roman roads in the city and feel as though you have stepped back in time. It was an awe inspiring experience for me. Want to go back someday.

    • I know right! It is a very interesting and intriguing place to visit. It is good for education and learning. I went on the 6/7/2014.

  10. Omg this is so helpful!! It really helps with homework, which is a report on pomnpeii, for the reading class I am in! Thx

  11. Tnx so much James it really helped me with me project and I only looked on this website!I will definitely use it again soon Tnx again

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