- from Pompeii
Over time, the ashes from the eruption of Vesuvius changed to soil. Grass grew, and people moved back. The area thrived once again. Nobody knew that an entire town lay below them!
But in 1709, that all changed. A peasant digging a well found huge marble slabs. Others dug tunnels and searched further. The find turned out to be Herculaneum. It was not Pompeii after all. But it kicked off a great treasure hunt.
Sadly, for nearly 40 years, Herculaneum’s treasures were stolen. Nobles used them to decorate their homes. When it got too difficult to dig at Herculaneum, digging began at Pompeii. Small finds had turned up there. In 1748, nearly 1,700 years after the A.D. 79 eruption, big excavations began at Pompeii. The first hundred years were not very productive. But digging methods got better. Today, Pompeii shows us how an ancient civilization lived.