I went to Pompeii.
And if you don’t know what that is or why that’s so incredibly amazing, let me explain it to you. Pompeii is a huge archaeological site in Naples (or around there). It’s a three-hour bus ride from Rome and it was once a thriving Roman city (after Rome conquered it). But, on August 24, 79 AD, it was buried in meters of ash and little rocks due to the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius.
Pompeii was an urban working city with roughly 20,000 inhabitants. So, on August 24, 79 AD, the volcano on the mountain erupted. The top of the volcano came off and the people started seeing smoke come out of the sky. Some started fleeing and some stayed. When the top of the mountain exploded, it buried Pompeii in little rocks that preserved the city. So everything was sort of frozen in time. That means the people. That means the city. That means the roads, houses, paintings… Everything.
But, essentially, Pompeii is obliterated from history up until the 1600s when someone is digging and they discovered it (though it was amateur digging and they ended up destroying a large part of it).
For me, it’s crazy because people dream of coming to Pompeii and I’m here. There’s no other place in the world where you could imagine what people lived like 2,000 years ago. And I spent the whole day there.
There’s no other place where you can see this, where you can literally imagine how another civilization lived like. There’s no other place that you could connect to humans of 2,000 years ago.
In Pompeii there is a house where you could see real paintings that were made back then. It’s amazing.
We can also see how the people looked like because the forms were preserved by the rocks. We can easily see sculptures (and that’s great) but art allows things to be altered and it changes the perception of who you are — whereas these real remains allow us to see exactly what they looked like.
In fact, there is one particular form that is striking. Here’s a person trying to cover their nose and mouth because they can’t breathe from the smoke.