- Site Name: Archaeological Areas of Pompei, Herculaneum and Torre Annunziata
- Location: Province of Naples, Region of Campania, Italy
- Year of Inscription: 1997
- Criteria for Nomination: 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. to 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;
- Total Number of Cultural/Mixed Heritage Sites in Italy:45
Basic Archaeological Site Information:
- Size of Site: 98 ha
- Time Period: Herculaneum: 89 BC-AD 79; Pompei: 6th Century BC-AD 79
- Cultural Groups: Both went through changes in power; Oscans, Samnites, Greeks, Etruscans, and the Romans.
Archaeological Summary: The towns of Pompei and Herculaneum were home to the wealthy in the Early Roman Empire. Both towns were buried when the volcano Vesuvius erupted in AD 79. The eruption lasted for 19 hours, but the residents of the towns did not know the damage this volcano would cause. In 1549, an Italian peasant, Domenico Fontana, dug a water channel through Pompei. The first excavation of Pompei came in 1748 when King Charles III of Spain sent Rocco Gioacchino de Alcubiere and a team to the region to find antiquities. The Spanish uncovered streets and buildings of the once vibrant city and excavations have continued since. In 1926, archaeologist Amedeo Maiuri began the next phase of archaeology in the region and began digging to see what the region was like even before the destruction in AD 79. Since the original excavation, archaeologists have uncovered roads, buildings, the courthouse, and the public baths. Pompei is now a tourist attraction and an excellent view into the lives of the wealthy in the Early Roman Empire.
The excavation of Herculaneum was also overseen by Rocco Gioacchino de Alcubiere. The site was covered in mud after the eruption, so many of the original buildings are still intact. The site shows what a typical Roman town looked like.
Threats: There are no known threats at this time.
- Pompei had a form of indoor plumbing and water pipes that ran throughout the city.
- Pompei had a complex grid road system.
- Vesuvius erupted for 19 hours and everyone in the town of Pompei could have escaped, but they didn’t realize how dangerous the eruption would be.