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Pompeii Archaeological Ruins - Naples


In the first half of the 6th century b.C., the first circle of city walls was built, following the same course that later walls would take.
Once it became a colony in 80 b.C., Pompeii was rebuilt and enriched with private and public buildings, especially in the age of the Emperor Augustus and Tiberius, from 27 b.C. to 37 a.D. In 62 a.C. earthquake struck the area of Vesuvius.
In 62 A.D. a catastrophic earthquake struck Pompeii and other cities of Campania (Herculaneum).
Pompeii suffered many damages; in fact 17 years later, at the moment of the volcanic eruption that buried it completely, some restaurations and reconstructions were still in progress.
Afterwards midday of August, the 24th of 79 A.D., the Pompeians saw a pine-shaped cloud fluttering on the Vesuvius; immediately after the gigantic stratum of solidified lava that obstructed the mouth of the crater exploded under the push of the gases and it flew in air shattering and transforming itself in lapilli that deposited on the city at a varying height of 2 or 6 meters and for a ray of 70 kms.
The buried city was rediscovered in the 16th century, but exploration only began in 1748, and continued systematically through the 19th century up to the most recent excavations, aimed at restoring and attributing the proper value to the Ancient city and its exceptional archaeological heritage.
The archaeological area of Pompeii extends over 66 hectares (about 35 acres), of which 49 have been excavated and 12 are open to the public.


THE ORIGINS OF THE CITY

Pompeii was built on a highland at a middle height of around 30 ms. on the sea-level formed from a prehistoric lava casting.
At the mouth of the Sarno river (at that time navigable), the city was destined to become the harbour of some countries far from the sea.
The name may derive from the Oscan pompe (five), to mean a community of five villages, or from the Greek pempo that means to send, to underline the fact that it was a huge commercial harbour able to supply of agricultural products (oil and wine) different points of the Mediterranean.
Soon Pompeii was influenced by two populations of superior civilization, established in Campania since the 7th century B.C.: the Greeks of Cuma and the Etruscans of Capua.
These last succeeded to the Greek between 530 and the 474 B.C. when they conquered the coast and they became a big power of the Mediterranean.
The Greeks, defeated the Etruscans with the help of the Syracusans, held Pompeii up to 438, when some Samnite populations belonging to the same log of the ancient Oscans, invaded the whole Campania.
It goes up again to this period the expansion of the city from 9,3 to 63,5 hectares of territory, extending itself till the whole lava casting.
In the 4th century B.C. the Samnite populations that lived on the Apennines did new invasions to damage the same Samnites of the lowland and of the coast, by now totally urbanized.
For the occasion (300 B.C.) they were forced to restructure the urban boundaries made by Sarno limestone.
Even Rome, in help of the Samnites of Capua, took part to these events (Samnite wars: 343 - 290 B.C.), going out of it victorious and becoming the mistress of the whole territory.
Pompeii drew from this situation a notable positive push in the commerce and in the art.
It goes up again in fact to this period the frequently employment of Nuceria tufa, above all for the public buildings that were partly restructured, partly built ex - novo.


THE HISTORY OF THE EXCAVATIONS

After the eruption of 79 A.D., that buried the entire city, about other seventy have followed, up to the last one of 1944.
The look of the mountain changed during the big eruption; by the Mountain Somma, breaking itself, born the Mountain Vesuvius, that with the following eruptions triplicated the greatness of its crater.
For centuries nothing was known about Pompeii, neither the location.
For the first signs of the recoveries that would have came, we had to wait the 1628: during some works in the Valley of Sarno emerged different ruins that roused scientists interest.
But only a century after began in Herculaneum, and about ten years later in Pompeii, the regular excavations with the order of Charles III Borbone, King of the Two Sicilies.
In Pompeii works began around 1748, in the zone of the Civita, that was considered Stabia, the other city buried during the eruption, alternating with breaks due to other recoveries in Herculaneum, and continuing without a determined project and without a precise method, effected from slaves and from teen-agers.
The documentation was limited to the graphic reproduction of the dug objects, without some interest for the data of excavation.
The research aimed only at the finding of material for museums or at the decoration of real palaces, while the dug up buildings, once despoiled of the masterpieces, were left without any care.
At the outbreak of the revolution in France, also began in Naples the first revolutionary motions and the activity of the excavations decreased sensitively and only with Giuseppe Bonaparte first and Gioacchino Murat after, took back with great emphasis and with a great employment of manpower.
It has been tried to individualise the perimeter of the whole city to know its extension, and the interest moved from the mere recovery of precious objects to the knowledge of the architecture and the urbanism.
With the birth of the Kingdom of Italy, in 1861, the Savoia immediately showed not to underestimate the prestige coming from the Pompeian recoveries.
With the order of the new King begun systematic excavations: Giuseppe Fiorelli, teacher of archaeology at the University of Naples from 1860 at 1863, was named at the direction, therefore general manager of the Antiquities and Fine Arts of the Kingdom of Italy; he divided the city in regions and islands numbering all the houses and this system is in use still today.
Fiorelli adopted a scientific method, with diary of excavation, surveys, catalogues of the objects, and he employed over five hundred workers in the job.
Belongs to him the invention of the method of pouring plaster of Paris into the spaces left by the victims, obtaining some casts of the bodies, caught in the same moment of death, a dramatic example of the tragedy which hit Pompeii and its people.
Even the system of taking away all the objects from the area of excavation was abandoned: the paintings and the mosaics were left on their place; the dug houses were covered with roofs that reproduced the ancient disposition and constituted a shelter against the inclemency of the weather.
The years that followed were the best: the researches widen toward east and toward Nola Gate, numerous houses come to light, the structures are consolidated and the paintings are restored on the place.
From 1924 at 1961 the management of the researches is entrusted to Amedeo Maiuri to whose figure is tied the historical study of the city; he, first, wants to know the previous phases of the city, deepening the exploration of the most ancient layers in the most lively zones, as the Forum, the Temples, the boundaries.
In the last thirty years, has gone alternating to a modest exploration, the activity of maintenance and safeguard, things of primary importance in this place unique in the world.

Address
Pompeii, Porta Marina (Naples)

Times
From November to March all days from 8.30 to 17.00 (last entrance at 15.30)
From April to October all days from 8.30 to 19.30 (last entrance at 18.00)
1 January, 1 May and 25 December closed

Prices
Access valid 1 day for 1 site (Pompeii or Herculaneum)
- EUR 11,00 Adults
- EUR 5,50 for European Union members between 18 and 25 years old
Access valid 3 days for 5 sites (Pompeii, Herculaneum, Oplontis, Stabiae, Boscoreale)
- EUR 20,00 Adults
- EUR 10,00 for European Union members between 18 and 25 years old
Free Entrance with Campania Artecard

Additional Notes
The Archaeological Ruins of Pompeii are a site of CAMPANIA ARTECARD circuit

How you can get there from the Hotel
From the Piazza Amedeo Station take line 2 on the subway, in the direction of Gianturco, and get off in Piazza Garibaldi (Main Station of Naples - third stop); proceed by Circumvesuviana train, in the direction of Sorrento, and get off at Pompeii - Villa dei Misteri stop.

DAILY EXCURSIONS - GUIDED TOURS
Excursion of Pompeii Archaeological Ruins is available and organized by the Hotel.
In order to know all excursion details of Archaeological Ruins of Pompeii kindly click the link below

Pompeii Archaeological Ruins Excursions


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