Villa of the Mysteries

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Pompeii, Italy; before 79

In the year 79 the town of Pompeii near modern Naples was obliterated by an eruption of the neighbouring volcano, Vesuvius, which buried the place in ash. Pompeii was a resort town, inhabited by prosperous Romans when the Roman Empire was at its height.

Pompeii’s buildings and their contents are remarkably well preserved because they were buried suddenly in dry volcanic ash, from which they have been excavated in modern times. The Roman inhabitants of the place perished, leaving voids in the ashy earth, which have been filled with plaster to recover the forms of the bodies and even their horrified ...

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