Click to: riverhouses.org/2020-pompeii
Although there is some debate among scholars, the 24th of August in the year 79 is believed to be the date on which the ancient Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum were destroyed and buried by an eruption of Mount Vesuvius.
The event was of course well known in ancient times — many ancient writers and historians saw it and described it — but the destruction was so complete and the surrounding region was so devastated that as the centuries passed, people gradually forgot where the two cities were located. It was not until the 1700s that Pompeii and Herculaneum were again found and correctly identified, and interest among early archaeologists — and looters and treasure hunters — began to grow.
Here’s a short and very effective professional animation of what it would have looked like from inside the city of Pompeii on that day — sufficiently realistic, perhaps, that small children might find it a bit frightening. No narration, just a series of clips from morning until the next day from a single vantage point:
And here’s a full BBC documentary on Pompeii that tells the whole story of what is now one of the most famous archaeological sites — and one of the best-documented ancient cities — in the world:
You can find mentions of Pompeii on pages 110–112 in your River Houses history encyclopedia (riverhouses.org/books), along with lots of historical context that will let you teach an excellent little lesson on this notable anniversary.
What other historical events and anniversaries have you been studying in your homeschool this Hercules Term? 😊
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