- from Pompeii
Over time, the ashes from the eruption of Vesuvius changed to soil. Grass grew, people moved back, and the area thrived once again. Nobody knew there was an entire town buried below them!
But in 1709, something changed all that. A peasant digging a well came across huge marble slabs. People from nearby dug tunnels and began to investigate further. Although the find proved not to be 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 taken away by nobles, who used them to adorn their homes. When digging at Herculaneum became too difficult, focus shifted to Pompeii, where small finds had surfaced. In 1748, nearly 1,700 years after the A.D. 79 eruption, excavation began at Pompeii. Although the first hundred years of excavation were haphazard, digging techniques steadily improved. Today, Pompeii stands as a living testament to an ancient civilization.