A painting called

A painting called "Mount Vesuvius at Midnight," shows the volcano that destroyed Pompeii.

Tourists walk down a narrow street leading through the ruined town of Pompeii.

Tourists walk down a narrow street leading through the ruined town of Pompeii.

Plaster casts of the victims of Mount Vesuvius in Pompeii.

Plaster casts of the victims of Mount Vesuvius in Pompeii.

The Destruction of Pompeii

Posted: January 1, 2015

Have you heard of the city of Pompeii? Thanks to a volcano, it’s history. It’s amazing history. You should read about it. Or look at pictures. Or maybe someday, even go see it!

Pompeii was part of ancient Rome. People bustled around doing their business. They lived, slept, and ate there. Then Mount Vesuvius erupted. That was on August 24, A.D. 79. After that, the city wasn’t so busy anymore. It was destroyed. And eventually, no one even remembered Pompeii.

But in the 1700s, people rediscovered the city. The volcanic ash kept the city as it was. Archeologists uncovered houses. They dug up paintings, furniture, and preserved fruit. They even found bread inside an oven. They also discovered many signs. One says, “Beware of Dog”! The city was frozen in time.

The volcano killed many people. Their bodies decayed. They left big holes in the debris. Archeologists filled them with plaster. The plaster casts show us what the people of Pompeii looked like. They reveal even small details. (Many Pompeiians had bad teeth!)

Now a new kind of damage threatens Pompeii. It’s plain old weather. Flooding has destroyed some of Pompeii’s walls. Italy’s government is spending $1.6 million. They are using the money to fix the damage. Good thing! Pompeii is a true treasure of history.