Pompeii(Exam Style Questions and Answers).

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  • Pompeii
    • What were the advantages of Pompeii as a place of settlement?
      • The city itself was built on a high ridge which was made from volcanic lava flow, making the city very defensible during times of hostility.
      • The city had access to the sea meaning trade was good as this put the city on the North to South main trade route.
      • The city had access to the River Sarno, which allowed the import and export of goods to and from the towns of inland Campania.
      • Due to the volcanic minerals in the soil, the land was very fertile, making for excellent agriculture as numerous crops, olive groves, and vineyards could be grown.
      • Being located near the River Sarno meant that the city's soil was enhanced by natural immigration.
    • What details does Pliny the Younger give about the eruption of Vesuvius?
      • Pliny the Younger is a primary source in describing the destruction of Pompeii. He describes the ash cloud as being like an umbrella pine tree, as it rose into the air like a long trunk and then spreads out into branches.
        • People tied pillows on top of their heads as protection from the shower of rocks. There was a strong smell of sulphur and breathing was obstructed by the dust laden air.
      • He says though it was daytime elsewhere in the world, in Pompeii the sky was darker and thicker than that of night.
      • He says ash and debris was being thrown into the air, and dust and stones rained down upon the city.
      • He describes hearing the sound of desperate panic and screams and cries of men, women and children as broad sheets of fire spread across Pompeii.
      • He describes seeing the pyroclastic flow/surge which is hot volcanic mud) submerging the streets and with each strong tremor dust filled the air.
      • Some people ran away, some people stayed. Ash was falling onto the ships now, darker and denser the closer they went. It was bits of pumice, and rocks that were blackened and burned and shattered by the fire.
      • Debris from the mountain blocks the shore. The ground outside his room rose so high with the mixture of ash and stones. Buildings were being rocked by a series of strong tremors and appeared to have come loose from their foundations.
    • How did Guiseppe Fiorelli contribute to our understanding of life in ancient Pompeii?
      • Carried out an excavation between the years of 1863-1875.
      • He discovered that skeletons from the eruption could be preserved in plastic moulds.
      • He numbered the regions of Pompeii, in order to understand what is what and where it is situated.
      • He sent artefacts he found the the Naples museum.
      • He recorded all that he founded and moved the debris completely away.




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