History of Italy: Pompeii

Pompeii is a truly spectacular place, frozen in time for two millennia. The story may be familiar, but now it is being retold in a landmark exhibition of archeological finds…

Pompeii Ruins

There are very few places to visit that are as historically fascinating as the ancient Roman city of Pompeii. The demise of the city and all of its citizens took just 24 hours as Mount Vesuvius erupted with tragic consequences. The inhabitants were exposed to temperatures which soared to 250ºC and the town became instantly lost in time as it was buried in four to six metres of ash and pumice.

Its rediscovery in the 19th century has played a pivotal role in developing our understanding of what life here was like 2,000 years ago. Much of the ancient city is still intact, including establishments such as the bakery, the brothel and the amphitheatre, providing ample opportunity for visitors to catch a glimpse of Roman life by walking through the extensive ruins. But what if you haven’t had the chance to visit?

Now, for the first time, the coveted relics are on view in the UK in a special exhibition at the British Museum. Life and Death in Pompeii and Herculaneum is showing in London until 28 September 2013.