Visiting Pompeii

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Photo by Mary Harrsch

Can you tell I am getting a bit anxious about this trip?  I realize that time is really flying now.  I noticed that Lindsey has been keeping count of how many days until you leave for Rome and it's only 18 days!  I am writing my blog entries faster since I want to have the information on the field trips done before you go.  I have another month after you all leave before I am there, but still April has flown by.

On to the next field trip location.  Pompeii.  I don't know which member of my family is most excited about going there.  We have the "Magic Tree House" book that takes place in Pompeii, so we are all quite familiar with the story of what happened in Pompeii.  I also recently read Robert Harris' book "Pompeii", a novel which describes the events that take place within the last few days before the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius from the perspective of an engineer who works on the aqueducts that went from the Tyrrhenian sea (the part of the Mediterranean Sea from the western coast of Italy to Corsica).

Apparently, after Pompeii and surrounding towns were destroyed by Vesuvius (check out this cool video from the Discovery Channel), the area fell into obscurity and it was only within the last two hundred years or so that it was re-discovered and uncovered.  Archaeologists are still working there and are even uncovering evidence of human habitation from 400 BCE. 

What will you see in Pompeii when you are there?  You will see amazingly preserved buildings, art, casts of humans killed during the Vesuvian blast, and the like.  How will you feel?  When I read about what happened in Pompeii, I try to imagine what it was like to experience the cataclysm without any understanding of what was causing it and without any prior warning.  Some of the images that I have seen of the evidence of human remains indicates a sense of horror that many may have felt as they realized the end was near.  I also think that this catastrophe has ended up providing an unparalleled window into ancient Italian life and customs.  I think I will feel sadness and fascination.  I look forward to seeing how you experience this trip as well.      

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This is a message from Margaret:

Although the architecture
of Pompeii and Ostia have a lot in common -- shops in front, and living quarters behind for store keepers, bars with places to put containers of oil, or wine, or whatever one is selling, atriums and open interior spaces (big ones in Pompeii as these were mostly summer homes for the well to do) there is one difference. Houses in Pompeii do not have windows looking out into the street! So when shops close, and front doors are shut for the night, the place must have been rather lonely, if not downright dangerous! This is something students can keep an eye out for when they visit the two places.

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This page contains a single entry by ROBIN YAURE published on April 23, 2008 10:31 PM.

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