The last thing I expected to see in a city buried under 30 feet of volcanic ash and stone for the past 2000 years were erotic pictures—in a brothel! But that was one of the first stops on our tour of this enormous archaeological site. Our guide said the cost for a prostitute was two bronze coins—which was the same price as a glass of wine!
Since communication wasn’t so hot back in biblical times, the city was forgotten; it wasn’t until a few hundred years ago that it was discovered. Believe it or not, it’s still being excavated! Our guide for the day told us that 700,000 people have built their homes on Mt. Vesuvius (that’s the volcano responsible for destroying the city). Did I mention that it is still active? The last eruption was in 1944. According to our guide, the so-called “emergency evacuation” plan wouldn’t stand a chance with that many people!
We wandered through the streets and into different buildings– including the bathhouse, which is the only building whose roof remained intact. The mosaics found on the floors of people’s homes were just as colorful as ever, and there were several statues of the god Apollo and his twin sister, the goddess Athena. I was surprised to learn that lava never even touched Pompeii. It was the gas that burned everything. Countless pieces of pottery and other artifacts have been discovered, along with casts of actual human bodies that were found. Creepy!