12. The Doomed City of Pompeii
On August 24, 74 AD on the west coast of southern Italy Mount Vesuvius unleashed its fury and literally blew its top spewing ash and noxious gases. Nineteen hours later three cities and most of the population were totally destroyed and buried beneath tons of ash, mud and rock. These cities remained hidden for 1,700 years until the eighteenth century when spurred by evidence of illegal Roman treasures on the art market archeologists began to dig. They found Pompeii-- a Roman city filled with treasures. Subsequent excavations uncovered a remarkably intact city replete with artefacts that provide a view of Roman life styles. Jewelry, frescos, statues, ordinary objects, and plaster casts of the victims depict their last moments when Vesuvius erupted. The presentation is illustrated with views of excavated and reconstructed Pompeii, its’ incredible sculptures and paintings, the unique plaster casts, and some rather bawdy art.