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In Ancient Rome, Pompeii was a major resort city located in southern Italy and is considered one of the world’s most important historical sites. Below are a collection of Pompeii facts and information about this great ancient city that can be used for research in the classroom or just to learn more about this historic place. You can also download our worksheet pack with over 11 activities covering the City of Pompeii.
- Pompeii was an ancient city in southern Italy. The remains of Pompeii are now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and are located near to Naples.
- The city of Pompeii was built at the foot of the volcano, Mount Vesuvius. The people living in Pompeii didn’t know it was a volcano, because there hadn’t been an eruption in over 1,800 years.
- Pompeii was originally settled by the Greeks. They were part of the spread of Greek colonies across the Mediterranean and they settled in Pompeii around 6th century BC because it was a port city and a prime location for trade. The volcanic soil was also rich with nutrients from earlier eruptions of Vesuvius and made it perfect land for grapes and olive trees. By the 4th century the town had been taken by a hardy Italian tribe from the inland hills, known as the Samnites.
- In 62 AD, a severe earthquake struck Pompeii, causing significant damage. It took many years for the city to rebuild and because of the severity of the damage, many residents moved to other Roman cities.
- Mount Vesuvius erupted on August 24, 79 AD, killing 13% of the population of Pompeii. The city was completely destroyed, and 2,000 of the 15,000 population were killed.
- During the eruption, temperatures would have reached up to 250 degrees C. This would have been hot enough to kill even residents who were sheltering inside their stone building houses.
- Volcanic ash from the eruption buried Pompeii quickly, preserved the city and its people. This is why it is considered such an important site, because historians and archaeologists have a vivid picture of what life was like in the Roman Empire over 2,000 years ago.
- Pliny the Younger, an author and lawyer in Ancient Rome, wrote about the cloud of gas and ash from the volcanic eruption in a letter. His letters were the first written accounts of a volcanic eruption.
Its general appearance can best be expressed as being like an umbrella pine, for it rose to a great height on a sort of trunk and then split off into two branches, I imagine because it was thrust upward by the first blast and then left unsupported as the pressure subsided, or else it was borne down by its own weight so that it spread out and gradually dispersed. Sometimes it looked white, sometimes blotched and dirty, according to the amount of soil and ashes it carried with it.
- Pompeii lay buried and forgotten for hundreds of years. It was eventually discovered and excavated in 1748 after it was discovered by workers building King Charles III Palace. Archaeologists still work on the site to this day.
- Before the 79 AD eruption, there wasn’t even a word for volcano. The word was first used around 1610 and derives from the world Vulcan, the Roman god of fire and metal-work.
- Italian archaeologist, Giuseppe Fiorelli, was able to produce accurate casts of the people of Pompeii. He noticed that there were voids and gaps in the layers of ash which were left by decomposed bodies. He pumped plaster into the holes to produce accurate cases of Pompeii inhabitants. A similar technique is used today using a resin instead of plaster.
- Other cities were affected and preserved by the eruption. Herculaneum and Stabiae are not as famous as Pompeii, but the hot ash and cinders preserved both cities as well.
- Archaeologists have found graffiti written by residents of Pompeii. The people would often write and walls and archaeologists have even been able to read some of what they wrote.
- Pompeii is a major tourist attraction. Over 2.5 million tourists from around the world visit the site every year.
The City of Pompeii Worksheets
This bundle includes 11 ready-to-use The City of Pompeii worksheets that are perfect for students to learn about this famous city which was is considered one of the world’s most important historical sites.
This download includes the following worksheets:
- The City of Pompeii Facts
- The City of Pompeii Word Search
- Is It True?
- The City of Pompeii Storyboard
- The City of Pompeii as Described
- Pliny the Younger
- Human Remains in Pompeii: The Body Casts
- How Will I Warn Them?
- The Past and Present
- Rediscover Pompeii
- Pompeii in a Glimpse
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Link will appear as The City of Pompeii Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, December 4, 2016
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.