Pompeii, the complete notes

Note by sangarang, updated more than 1 year ago


Note on Pompeii, the complete notes, created by sangarang on 01/07/2014.
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The remains of Pompeii do not show a moment in everyday life with complete accuracy: ·      Most of the population managed to escape taking valuables. ·      The eruption destroyed all the upper floors. ·      Most of the organic materials have perished. ·      Evidence that there has been a lot of looting. Pompeii was benefited from being close to the sea, having its own harbor, but also the River Sarno, where they were able to control the river trade.   Early History ·      The Etruscans, Oscans and the Greeks influenced Pompeii in its earliest days. ·      There may have been a small settlement in the 8th Century BCE. ·      The first walls were built in the 6th Century BCE; first evidence of “real city?” ·      The Samnites from the mountain inland came down and had complete power by the end of the 5th Century BCE. ·      Romans fought with the Samnites in a series of battles and won by 290 BCE. Pompeii was given status of “ally”, allowing them to govern their own affairs but had to supply forces for the Roman army and follow Rome’s foreign policy. ·      Remained loyal to Rome during Punic Wars against the Carthaginians in the late 3rd Century. ·      Social War-many allied cities rebelled for full Roman citizenship in 91 BCE. ·      General Sulla in 89 BCE besieged Pompeii and soon they surrendered. Rome granted their people citizenship in order to maintain stability. ·      Roman state settled 2,000 of Sulla’s veteran soldiers in Pompeii with their families, occupying all key political posts in the years that came (tension between new and old settlers). ·      Romans changed the name, replaced Oscan with Latin, mirrored political structure with Rome, major new buildings were constructed (amphitheater, Forum Baths, covered theatre etc.)   Earthquake in 63 CE did significant damage to structures, and became common towards the eruption (these earthquakes were warning signs of the eruption).   The Eruption, 79 CE   Fore-warnings ·      Earth tremors ·      Wells drying up ·      Springs stopped flowing ·      Rumblings heard in the mountain ·      Animals behaved strangely     The Plinian Phase 8:00amà small tremors and emissions forewarn the eruption Late morning ~ 1:00pmàVesuvius erupts releasing an enormous umbrella-pine shaped eruptive column that rose 14 km above Vesuvius within 30 minutes. The column was comprised of ash and pumice, which was mostly carried downwind by the prevailing winds. 3:00pmà as the column rises higher, the contents start to cool and fall. Pumice and ash fell on the streets of Pompeii, 9km downwind, at a rate of 15cm per hour. Herculaneum, upwind, only receives light ash. 5:00~6:00pmà Pumice stones and lapilli (hardened lava) start to accumulate from 25~30cm per hour. Volcanic debris blocks up the River Samo leaving it impassable. Buildings start to collapse from the weight. Some people flee, or guard their property. Others die from collapsing buildings or from the falling pumice stones. The dense cloud of ash now blots out the sunlight, an addition to the volcanic lightening. 8:00pmà the white frothy pumice changes into grey pumice as deeper levels of the magma chamber are activated. From discharging 50,000~80,000 tons/sec the amount rises to 150,000 tons/sec to heights of about 33 km. There was relative calm between two phases.   The Pyroclastic Phase (The Peléan stage) First Surgeà The plume over Vesuvius couldn't be supported further when the eruptive vent widened triggering the cascade of the column, sending superheated volcanic debris and gases, or pyroclastic surges and flows. The first surge killed most inhabitants of Herculaneum who were still left instantly. Travelling at about 200km per hour consisting of ashes and gases heated from 100~400ºC. This surge was followed by a flow, volcanic liquid debris heated to 400ºC, which spread at 65~80km per hour. Surge 2 àwas hotter and more powerful than the previous, carrying bits of buildings with it. Surge 1 & 2 did not affect Pompeii. Surge 3àGrey pumice falls and column rose 30km. This set off the third surge, which destroyed parts of the northern wall but left the inhabitants unharmed. Surge 4~6àthese three superheated avalanches covered the whole town, killing its victims by thermal shock. Surge 6 was the most devastating, covering the city with a metre of material. The last surge also had the most energy, travelling south as far as Stabiae. Volcanic activity, mudslides and electrical storms proceeded for several days. Herculaneum laid underneath 23 metres of hard, volcanic rock.   Aftermath Emperor Titus organized a relief effort, and property left without a will was donated. Survivors were given special privileges in nearby cities.             Rediscovery   ·      Early 18th Century, the new King Charles VIII hired military engineer & mining expert Rocque Joaquin de Alcubierre who had little experience in archeology. ·      King wanted any treasure found be removed for his private collection. ·       Alcubierre didn’t preserve site but carelessly damaged Pompeii; he was only interested in the treasure. ·      In 1750 a Swiss architect Karl Weber was appointed Alcubbierre’s deputy. ·      Tried to excavate site systematically and keeping written records. ·      In 1863 Garibaldi who unified several regions appointed Giuseppe Fiorelli, who made many improvements to the site.   ·      He excavated from above, not damaging the walls, cleared waste littered around, built roofs over excavated buildings to protect them from the weather. ·      He made record keeping easier by using a system of triple numbering; site divided into 9 regions, subdivide into blocks (insulae), each individual building (insula) was then numbered. ·      Artifacts couldn’t be removed for private reasons, ether left in site or taken to Naples Archeological Museum with replicas in original place. ·      Opened site to general public with entrance fee to pay caretakers. ·      His most famous idea was the plaster casts, known now as Fiorelli’s Process; realizing that in time these bodies had rotted but cavities were left which was then filled with plaster of Paris, which then left a perfect replica of the dead person. This process could be used to other organic materials (animals, wood, plants etc.).   Pompeii was well designed with gates and roads going to key places in and out the city. The seven gates were located strategically, connecting to key places around the city, therefore being easily accessible. The streets were used as sewers, so stepping stoned had been placed. At the end of the 1st Century, an aqueduct was built, with one of its branches leading to Pompeii. The Southwestern part is the oldest, with other parts having some Greek influence. Pompeii was famous for its fish sauce, garum.    

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