Ruin sights in Pompeii
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The ruins of Pompeii are priceless. Much of the site's value lies in the fact that it wasn't simply blown away by Vesuvius in AD 79, rather it was buried under a layer of lapilli (burning fragments of pumice stone). The result is a remarkably well-preserved slice of ancient life, where visitors can walk down Roman streets and snoop around millennia-old abodes and businesses (including a brothel).
As terrible as the eruption was, it could have been worse. Seventeen years earlier Pompeii (Pompei in Italian) had been devastated by an earthquake and much of the 20,000-strong population had been evacuated. Many had not returned by the time Vesuvius blew, but 2000 men, women…