- 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, something changed all that. A peasant digging a well found huge marble slabs. People from nearby began to dig and investigate. Although the find wasn’t Pompeii—it was the nearby town of Herculaneum—it was the beginning of the greatest treasure hunt up to that time.
Unfortunately, for nearly 40 years, the treasures of Herculaneum were stolen. Nobles used them to adorn their homes. When digging at Herculaneum became too hard, the diggers moved over to Pompeii. They had made small finds there. In 1748, nearly 1,700 years after the A.D. 79 eruption, excavations began at Pompeii. The first hundred years of excavation were haphazard, but techniques kept improving. Today, Pompeii stands as a living testament to an ancient civilization.