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Fresco found in Pompeii depicts bloody gladiator battle that is said to have…

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Mount Vesuvius erupted in AD 79, burying the cities of Pompeii, Oplontis and Stabiae under ashes and rock fragments, and the city of Herculaneum under a stream of mud.

What happened?

Mount Vesuvius erupted in AD 79, burying the cities of Pompeii, Oplontis and Stabiae under ashes and rock fragments, and the city of Herculaneum under a stream of mud.

Mount Vesuvius, on the west coast of Italy, is the only active volcano in continental Europe and is considered one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world.

All residents died instantly when the city of southern Italy was hit by a pyroclastic heat wave at 500 ° C.

Pyroclastic flows are a dense collection of hot gas and volcanic materials flowing down the sides of a high-speed erupting volcano.

They are more dangerous than lava because they travel faster at speeds of 700 km / h and at 1,000 ° C.

An administrator and poet named Pliny, the youngest, watched the disaster from a distance.

Letters describing what he saw were found in the 16th century.

Their writings suggest that the eruption took Pompeii residents by surprise.

Mount Vesuvius erupted in AD 79, burying the cities of Pompeii, Oplontis and Stabiae under ashes and rock fragments, and the city of Herculaneum under a stream of mud.

He said that a column of smoke "like an umbrella pine" rose from the volcano and made the surrounding cities as black as night.

People had been running their torches all their lives, screaming, and some wept as rain of ashes and pumice fell for several hours.

While the eruption lasted about 24 hours, the first pyroclastic outbreaks began at midnight, causing the volcano's column to collapse.

An avalanche of hot ashes, rocks and poison gas rushed down the side of the volcano at 199 km / h, burying victims and remnants of everyday life.

Hundreds of refugees housed in the vaulted seaside vaults in Herculaneum, clutching their jewelry and money, were killed instantly.

The Orto dei fuggiaschi (The Garden of the Fugitives) shows the 13 bodies of victims who were buried in the ashes while trying to flee Pompeii during the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD.

The Orto dei fuggiaschi (The Garden of the Fugitives) shows the 13 bodies of victims who were buried in the ashes while trying to flee Pompeii during the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD.

When people fled Pompeii or hid in their homes, their bodies were covered with wave blankets.

Although Pliny did not estimate how many people died, the event was considered "exceptional" and the death toll is believed to exceed 10,000.

What did they find?

This event ended the life of cities, but at the same time preserved them until rediscovery by archaeologists almost 1700 years later.

The excavation of Pompeii, the industrial center of the region and Herculaneum, a small beach resort, gave an unrivaled view of Roman life.

Archaeologists are continually discovering more of the ash-covered city.

In May, archaeologists discovered an alley of large houses, with balconies virtually intact and still in their original tones.

A plaster cast of a dog, from the House of Orpheus, Pompeii, 79 AD. About 30,000 people are believed to have died in chaos, with bodies still being discovered to this day.

A plaster cast of a dog, from the House of Orpheus, Pompeii, 79 AD. About 30,000 people are believed to have died in chaos, with bodies still being discovered to this day.

Some of the balconies even had amphorae – the cone-shaped terracotta vases that were used to store wine and oil in ancient Roman times.

The discovery has been hailed as a "complete novelty" – and the Italian Ministry of Culture hopes they can be restored and opened to the public.

The upper stores were rarely found among the ruins of the ancient city, which was destroyed by an eruption of Vesuvius volcano and buried under six meters of ash and volcanic rubble.

About 30,000 people are believed to have died in chaos, with bodies still being discovered to this day.

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