Thursday, November 24, 2011

Pompeii: The UNESCO heritage site

Taken from the exhibition "Pompeii: Life in a Roman Town 79 CE".

About a year ago, I went for an exhibition in Singapore that showcases artifacts from Pompeii titled Pompeii: Life in a Roman Town 79 CE. One that fateful day in 79 CE, Mount Vesuvius erupted and the extend of the eruption destroyed the Roman town of Pompeii, and yet ironically preserved this Roman town for centuries.

This buried city of Pompeii was rediscovered in the 16th century but systemic excavation only began in 1748. I learnt that the western part of Pompeii is where the most impressive and intact Roman ruins are located.

A plaster cast of one of the victims of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79CE.

The star sights of Pompeii are said to be the "House of the Faun" and the "House of Vetti". However, somehow I do not remember visiting these two sites.

Our tour guide led the group to see a gymnasium and an auditorium in the town of Pompeii.

A gynasium.

One of the auditoriums.
Imagine that the auditorium seats used to be covered by marble stones.

Along the way, he gave us interesting details on some of the features that could be found on the streets. I learnt that "stepping stones" were laid on selected areas of the streets of Pompeii so that people could use these specially elevated large stones to cross the streets of Pompeii in the event of floods.

One of the streets of Pompeii.
The gentleman in the foreground holding  a camera is stepping on a "Stepping Stone".

More than a thousand years ago in the town of Pompeii, the people of Pompeii already have amenities such as drinking fountains, bakeries, chemists (today's version of the pharmacy), baths and more. I was pretty fascinated to simply see the ruins of Pompeii personally in my lifetime.

Inside one of the Roman baths.
This, if I recall correctly, is the original marble structure placed at a hot-steamed bath area.  

A drinking tap.
Spirituality and religion seemed to be an important part of the lives of the people of Pompeii. I cannot help but notice the elaborate structures that form the Temple of Jupiter and the Temple of Apollo.

Temple of Jupiter.

Temple of Apollo.

There are simply a lot to be discovered about the civilization of Pompeii. I personally find the visit to Pompeii shorter than I would like. Then again,I was very grateful that the visit to Pompeii was a great way to get me reacquainted with Pompeii once again. One of my minor achievements as a result of visiting Pompeii was that I have learnt to recognize Mount Vesuvius.

Mount Vesuvius in the background. 

Civilizations may rise and fall. Yet what has enabled the human race to continue to exist on Earth since mankind exists, is possibly the faith and courage to live in spite of all the odds.

DK Eyewitness Travel: Italy. (2011)

1 comment:

kyh said...

You must be very excited to be at the place seeing these ruins with your own eyes, instead of just browsing through the artefacts shipped to Singapore for display!

I cant imagine how the victims felt when the hot molten ash and lava came towards them at that moment... No time to escape and all. Must be an agonizing and painful death.