Can Great Cities ‘Disappear’?
Pompeii was a big flourishing town in Italy. When the volcano Mt. Vesuvius erupted on Aug. 24, 79, A.D., it was so powerful that about 20,000 to 30,000 people perished. The volcanic dust and ash settled on Pompeii and the nearby town of Herculaneum, covering them to a depth of up to 20 feet.
The cities disappeared underground and remained so for about 1,700 years until late in the 16th century, an architect building an underground water main in southern Italy came upon the buried ruins of the old city Pompeii under 30 to 50 feet of ashes, stones, and mud as hard as concrete.
In 1748 the ruins of the old town were carefully dug out, and today Pompeii can be visited by anyone who wants to see what life was like in ancient Italy. When the city was dug out, many homes were in the same condition, as they were at the moment of the eruption. Come kitchens still contained food that remained untouched for almost 1,700 years. Mt. Vesuvius erupted during an election campaign in Pompeii, and some houses still have election slogans on their walls.