Archaeological Areas of Pompei, Herculaneum and Torre Annunziata

Name of Site: Archaeological Areas of Pompei, Herculaneum and Torre Annunziata

Location: Province of Naples, Campania, Italy

Date of Inscription: 1997

Justification for Inscription:

                (iii) to bear a unique or at least exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition or to a civilization which is living or which has disappeared

                (iv) to be an outstanding example of a type of building, architectural or technological ensemble or landscape which illustrates a significant stage(s) in human history

                (v) be an outstanding example of a traditional human settlement, land-use, or sea-use which is representative of a culture (or cultures), or human interaction with the environment especially when it has become vulnerable under the impact of irreversible change;

Number of Cultural or Mixed Heritage Sites located in Italy: 45 sites

Size of the archaeological site: 98 ha

Time period site represents: leading up to August 24, 79 AD

Cultural group associated with the site: Romans

Archaeological Summary:

                These archaeological sites are believed to be founded by the Oscans of central Italy. The sites were buried under 4 to 6 meters of ash and pumice during a volcano eruption during 79 AD. The volcanic ash and rock that encased the towns kept the sites well preserved until they were rediscovered.

                At the Pompeian site, archaeologists found an aqueduct, houses, restaurants and an amphitheatre. There were also many casts of victims found, where they had been covered with debris and then decomposed leaving a void in the rock. Carbon dating has been used to date pottery shards and other organic materials, placing the earliest between the 8th and 6th centuries.  There are other layers beyond this point, but they are clearly delineated and are believed to be from previous settlements of the area.

                Much like at Pompei, Herculaneum had well preserved structures and their contents. However, unlike Pompei, there were preserved Roman skeletal remains. Torre Annunziata is not as expansive as Pompei, or even Herculaneum, but there are a couple of villas that were preserved. Although they are three separate sites, together their information gives a complete look at life of the Roman Empire during this time period.

Threats: There are no known threats to the Archaeological Areas of Pompei, Herculaneum and Torre Annunziata.

Additional Information: People spoke Latin in Pompeii, Herculaneum and Torre Annunciata. However, there is no Latin word for volcano, which is what both destroyed and preserved their culture.




 To see a picture of the body casts of Pompei:

For a view of the Pompei site:

For view of Herculaneum site:

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