Pompeii was an ancient city built by the Oscans. In 80 B.C. the Romans took over Pompeii so it became a Roman city. Rich Romans could travel to Pompeii for a relaxing vacation. The city offered activities. It had an amphitheater, gymnasium, and bathhouses. People lived very poorly there.

   The ancient city of Pompeii is located near modern-day Naples, Italy. Pompeii is about five miles away from Mount Vesuvius. Even though the mountain had erupted before, the Romans ignored it and continued to go to Pompeii. They loved the warm, sunny, weather!

   In 79 A.D., the mountain erupted again! Ashes and rocks shot out so high into the air that even people hundreds of miles away witnessed the event. The lava was so hot that it killed anything within six miles of it. The ashes even clogged the air to make it difficult to breathe. Once the ashes cleared, Pompeii was completely destroyed. At least 2,000 people were killed in this catastrophe.

   Pompeii was rediscovered by archeologists and became an archeological site. They found lots of artifacts and well-preserved bodies. They preserved the bodies by pouring plaster or resin in the cavities.

   Archeologists found many artifacts and made a lot of discoveries about the Roman culture.