At the beginning of 79 AD the Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum, situated in Campania, on the Bay of Naples in southern Italy, were both bustling centres of human activity. Pompeii was a busy commercial centre with a population estimated to have been anywhere between 6,400 and 30,000. Herculaneum, on the other hand, was a smaller and more exclusive place, popular with the Roman elite, as is attested by the number of luxurious villas that have been discovered there. By the end of the year, both of them lay buried under metres of volcanic mud and ash, victims of one of the worst geological disasters in recorded history, an event so cataclysmic that it still horrifies almost 2000 years later: the eruption of Mount Vesuvius.
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Beard, Mary, and Ferdinand Mount. 2013. Pompeii: The Life of a Roman Town. London : The Folio Society
Beard, Mary. 2016. Pompeii: New Secrets Revealed. England: Lion Television.
Bowersock, G. 1978. The Rediscovery of Herculaneum and Pompeii. The American Scholar, 47(4), 461-470. Retrieved February 14, 2021
Moser, Barry, and Benedicte Gilman. 2007. Ashen Sky: The Letters of Pliny the Younger on the Eruption of Vesuvius. Los Angeles : J. Paul Getty Museum
Petrone P, Pucci P, Vergara A, et al. A Hypothesis of Sudden Body Fluid Vaporization in the 79 AD Victims of Vesuvius.
Sigurdsson, H., Cashdollar, S., & Stephen R. J. Sparks. 1982. The Eruption of Vesuvius in A. D. 79: Reconstruction from Historical and Volcanological Evidence. American Journal of Archaeology, 86(1), 39-51. doi:10.2307/504292