When Did They Start Excavating Pompeii

History of Discovering Pompeii

Pompeii was a flourishing Roman city located in Southern Italy until 79 AD. The Roman civilization reached its peak of cultural and artistic development in this city, but it was also the place where one of the most famous natural disasters of all time occurred: Mount Vesuvius erupted, burying Pompeii and Herculaneum under burning ash and pumice.
What had been lost for nearly 1700 years was rediscovered in 1748, when accurate surveyors hired by the King of Naples mapped out the buried cities. These surveyors, who were trained in the science of archaeology, located structures buried beneath the ground and were soon able to identify them as ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum.
The excavation of the buried city began properly in 1748 and it has continued ever since. Archaeologists Rob Roy and Raymond Bradford had the first success when they uncovered sixteen human skulls in 1749 and it created a stir of excitement among their colleagues.
The first systematic excavation of the site was conducted in 1763 by Spanish military engineer Don Rocque Juan de Alcubierre. He mapped the entire area and identified several important structures. He was able to uncover the public buildings, religious sites and homes of the Roman citizens.
The work of these early surveyors and excavators made it possible to study the city in-depth and discover the incredible wealth of artifacts and art that it contained. Many of these artifacts were in excellent condition, due to the fact that they had been preserved by layers of ash and pumice from the eruption.
The first official archaeological team, headed by Italian archaeologist Giuseppe Fiorelli, began to explore the ruins in 1860. These early archaeologists focused on uncovering the remains of the city and documenting its ruins in-depth. They also made it possible to explore and understand the lifestyles of Pompeii’s citizens.
Their work continues to inform archaeologists and anthropologists today, and their discoveries helped to create a better understanding of the Roman Empire during its peak.

Preservation of Archaeological Finds

As progress was made in uncovering the city in the 1800’s, archaeologists began to focus on preserving the ancient remains and artworks. Giuseppe Fiorelli had a big hand in how this would be done, and devised the method of pouring plaster into the volcanic ash which filled the cavities left behind by bodies during the eruption. This process enabled them to form casts of some of the victims, freeze-framing their terrifying deaths.
The Italian Archaeological Society (IAS) was established in 1845 to help support archaeological discoveries at the site. They built a small museum to house the more fragile artifacts and began collecting the more substantial finds for display. In 1862, the Italian government took over the excavation process and placed the IAS in charge of organizing the work.
This arrangement allowed the excavations to continue on a more organized and consistent basis. Over the years, the IAS made considerable progress in preserving the archaeological finds and bringing to light the city’s ancient history.
Technology has also played a major role in preserving the site’s ancient treasures. For example, the use of 3D scanning technology has enabled archaeologists to make detailed digital copies of artifacts and other ancient finds. This allows them to store the information digitally, and make the information available to a wider audience.

Importance of Studying Pompeii

Evidence uncovered in Pompeii has provided valuable insight into the lives of ancient Romans. The city enables modern researchers to study a remarkable range of sources, from household items and clothing to wall paintings and architecture.
Moreover, Pompeii provides a way to study how the Roman people lived in a specific time. For example, excavations have revealed that Roman technology was far more advanced than is generally assumed, with many of the city’s dwellings using heated floors and running water.
It has also been found that the citizens of Pompeii were fiercely independent, with many households having private gardens and businesses. This evidence has changed our view of Roman society and has enabled researchers to gain a better understanding of their way of life.
Pompeii also gives us an opportunity to learn about how the people of the era responded to tragedy and how they recovered from disasters such as the eruption of Mount Vesuvius.

Political Significance of Uncovering Pompeii

Due to its great political importance, the discovery of Pompeii had a staggering effect on the kingdom of Naples and the surrounding area. It sparked an immense interest in the archaeology of the Roman Empire, and the ancient city became a primary target of archaeological exploration.
The discoveries of Pompeii and the subsequent surge of public interest in ancient civilizations also had wider political ramifications. It sparked a surge of interest in Italy and the ancient world, and resulted in the gradual unification of Italy as we know it today.
The archaeological discoveries helped to boost Italy’s fledgling sense of national identity, as well as its pride in its cultural and artistic heritage. This newfound enthusiasm resulted in the restoration of many historical monuments and the revival of classical artistic and literary styles in Italy.

Modern Tourists Visiting Pompeii

Today, Pompeii is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the Mediterranean and attracts thousands of visitors every year. It is estimated that the site receives up to 8 million visitors annually, making it one of the most visited archaeological sites in the world.
The large numbers of tourists can be both a blessing and a curse for the site. On the one hand, the influx of visitors has provided much needed funding for the preservation and maintenance of the ancient ruins. On the other, the high levels of foot traffic have caused damage to some of the more delicate structures and relics, as well as defacing some of the mosaics and frescoes.
In order to keep the site safe and accessible, the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and the Archaeological Park of Pompeii have put in place a number of measures. These include regulating the number of visitors allowed into the site at any one time, instituting strict photography regulations, and limiting the number of tour groups allowed.

Future of Planning and Excavation

The preservation and excavation of Pompeii is still ongoing and there is still much to be uncovered. The site has been a place of incredible discoveries and continues to reveal new artifacts and archaeological features to this day.
Archaeologists continue to explore new areas of the site and come up with new theories about how the Romans lived. Furthermore, the archaeological evidence uncovered in Pompeii has helped to shape our modern understanding of the Roman Empire and its people.
Recent years have seen a renewed focus on the site, with archaeologists increasingly utilizing technology to help preserve the site. This has included an extensive use of 3D scanners, which help capture every detail of an artifact with great accuracy.
At present, the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage is placing a greater emphasis on the careful, scientific excavation of the site, while also taking steps to ensure the preservation of the site and its artifacts.

Controversies Facing the Site

Despite the efforts of the Italian government, the site continues to face a number of challenges. In particular, the site has been dealing with the threat of looting and vandalism in recent years.
This has been a particularly pressing issue, as some unscrupulous visitors have tried to take advantage of the open access policy that is in place at the site. It has been estimated that each year, hundreds of thousands of euros worth of artifacts are stolen from the site.
The site also faces other challenges such as increased tour groups, pollution from the nearby city, and the threat of earthquakes and other natural disasters. Despite these threats, Pompeii remains a valuable treasure of knowledge and its excavation continues to this day.

Effects of the Eruption on the Long Term Survival of the City

Thanks to the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, the preservation of the site makes it one of the most important archaeological sites in the world. But, it is also important to consider the long-term effects that the eruption had on the city.
For example, the

Herman Shaw is a passionate traveler and avid photographer who has seen many of the world's most awe-inspiring monuments. He has developed expertise in various aspects of world architecture and culture which he enjoys sharing with his readers. With deep historical knowledge and insight, Herman's writing brings life to these remarkable artifacts and highlights their importance in the grand scheme of human history.

Leave a Comment