Talk:Pompeii/Archive 3

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I heard that Pompeii was readiscovered when a person was digging a well and discovered a building —Preceding unsigned comment added by Videovideo (talkcontribs) 13:34, 9 March 2009 (UTC)

It was a worker digging a well and he hit a piece of polished marble —Preceding unsigned comment added by Sehorn (talkcontribs) 18:04, 22 April 2009 (UTC)

True but it was the theatre of Herculaneum, not Pompeii. Happened in the early 18th century and it was the first major discovery relating to any of the buried cities (Fontana, in 1599, didn't follow his up). The subsequent dig into the theatre didn't give an idea that there had been a city close by though, and modern archeologists regard it as a rather crude act of treasure hunting, unsophisticated and destructive even for its age. See Michael Grant's Cities of Vesuvius (1971). Pompeii wasn't discovered until 1748 and isn't mentioned at all in any surviving Roman text known in the 18th century (Pliny's letter doesn't mention the town either; his uncle aimed for Herculaneum) . Strausszek (talk) 03:30, 15 January 2010 (UTC)

U.S.A. Units?

Why, when this subject is in Italy, a half-world away, does the article exclusively use obsolete units from the U.S.A? (talk) 18:11, 13 March 2009 (UTC)

Unless the article is using Roman miles I agree that the metric system should be used for this one. You are welcome to convert the figures yourself. --Saddhiyama (talk) 18:41, 13 March 2009 (UTC)
While these units remain the primary units of measure in the U.S.A., they are not "obsolete" nor are they obsolescent. Since those countries that still use the metric system are unlikely to change over any time soon, we will have to put up with both systems for the foreseeable future. Of course, Italy has a national language and (as of my last visit) it still isn't English. The metric units should be included, particularly since in some English-speaking countries the Metric System is in common use. (Note that there are articles in other languages, e.g., ) (talk) 00:01, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

Italian version is better!

The Italian version, "Scavi archeologici di Pompei" [[[:it:Scavi_archeologici_di_Pompei|], is way more informative, and better laid out. Considering everything, including that Pompei is in Italy, I think it would be better if the Italian article was translated and transferred to the English version
]] (talk) 19:49, 13 March 2009 (UTC)


I don't have a problem with any of the pictures, but if there is a need for more, I would be happy to donate some from my trip there. LastWarrior2010 (talk) 12:48, 3 June 2009 (UTC)


The dog photo's caption reads: "Cast of a dog that archaeologists believe was chained outside the House of Vesonius Primus, a Pompeiian fuller". Should that be 'Pompeiian *ruler*'? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:16, 16 January 2010 (UTC)

No typo, a fuller is a guy who prepares wool and linen (or so I think): see fulling. The name of the director Samuel Fuller is derived from this line of work. Strausszek (talk) 18:54, 16 January 2010 (UTC)

Date of the AD 79 eruption

As is now noted briefly both´in this article and at Mount Vesuvius, the date of August 24 is not completely certain or universally accepted. Some archaeological evidence at Pompeii suggests a date in the autumn, October or November - presumably the 24th of either of those months. Fresh olives were harvested and stored in jars, wine containers had been sealed which would happen towards the end of October, the people were dressed in warmer clothing than you'd expect for August, and a conmemorative coin issued for the emperor Vespasian, and likely put out in September - he had died in June - was found. It seems hard to find any authoritative discussion of this in English, there's an article in American Journal of Archaeology: S. J. Sparks 1982. The eruption of Vesuvius in AD 79: reconstruction from historical and volcanological evidence. AJA 36. p.39-51 that no one seems to have checked - and some diiscussion in A. Scarth and J.-C. Tanguy, "Volcanoes of Europe", 2001, Oxford University Press; ISBN: 0-19-521754-3). Again, would be good to check - I nipped those references from the talk page on Mount Vesuvius.

Then there's the Italian article by Stefani, 2006, briefly summarized by the Italian piece at (which is at the footnotes both here and at Vesuvius). I know Italian well enough to see that the description given here of her findings is accurate, but it would be good to have more sources plus I'm rather sure it's been discussed before. It's not a flyblown fringe theory. The difficulties with an August date are real and the possibility that some monk made a scribal error during the Middle ages is plainly there - the text of Pliny we have relies on a very few early medieval surviving codices, which were then copied. So it would have been easy to make a slip of the pen - we know someone did, because the alternate date of Nov. 23/24 is in the text tradition and both dates can't be right.

Article in English: G.Rolandi et al. The 79 AD eruption of Somma: The relationship between the date of the eruption and the southeast tephra dispersion. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research 169 (2007). From its Abstract:

... New high level wind data collected at the weather stations of the Aereonautica Militare data centres at Pratica di Mare (Rome) and Brindisi have been compiled to characterize the prevailing wind condition in the Somma-Vesuvius region. The common north-easterly dispersal directions of the Plinian eruptions are consistent with the distribution of ash by high-altitude winds from October to June. In contrast, the south-easterly trend of the AD 79 products appears to be anomalous, because the eruption is conventionally believed to have occurred on the 24th of August, when its southeast dispersive trend falls in a transitional period from the Summer to Autumnal wind regimes. In fact, the AD 79 tephra dispersive direction towards the southeast is not in agreement with the June–August high-altitude wind directions that are toward the west. This poses serious doubt about the date of the eruption and the mismatch raises the hypothesis that the eruption occurred in the Autumnal climatic period, when high-altitude winds were also blowing towards the southeast. New archaeological findings presented in this study definitively place the date of eruption in the Autumn, in good agreement with the prevailing high-altitude wind directions above Somma-Vesuvius ...

Q Valda (talk) 15:24, 1 February 2010 (UTC)

Hi Q Valda; It seems like the argument over the August 24 date is continuinig. And in this light I also just found an article suggesting that the testing of fish sauce, known as garum, that was found preserved in Pompeii suggests that Pliny the Youngers account, of August 24, the most widely accepted date, is likely to be correct.
Article. Oct 29,2008. Remains of rotten fish entrails have helped establish the precise dating of Pompeii's destruction, according to Italian researchers who have analyzed the town's last batch of garum, a pungent, fish-based seasoning.
Frozen in time by the catastrophic eruption that covered Pompeii and nearby towns nearly 2,000 years ago with nine to 20 feet of hot ash and pumice, the desiccated remains were found at the bottom of seven jars.
The find revealed that the last Pompeian garum was made entirely with bogues (known as boops boops), a Mediterranean fish species that abounded in the area in the summer months of July and early August.
"Analysis of their contents basically confirmed that Mount Vesuvius most likely erupted on 24 August 79 A.D., as reported by the Roman historian Pliny the Younger in his account on the eruption," Annamaria Ciarallo, director of Pompeii's Applied Research Laboratory told Discovery News.
"Pompeii's last batch of garum was made with bougues, a fish that was cheap and easy to find on the market in those summer months. Still today, people living in this region make a modern version of garum, called "colatura di alici" or anchovy juice, in July when this fish abounds on the markets," Ciarallo said.
The eruption froze the sauce right at the moment when the fish was left to macerate. No batches of finished garum were found, since the liquid evaporated in the heat from the eruption.
"Since bogues abounded in July and early August and ancient Roman recipes recommend leaving the fish to macerate for no longer than a month, we can say that the eruption occurred in late August-early September, a date which is totally compatible with Pliny's account," Ciarallo said.
Solastro (talk) 05:22, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
Meanwhile I just found another link of the same article at The Times online.
Solastro (talk) 05:48, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
The issue is apparently still undecided. I tried last year to provide the article Vesuvius with a nuanced description but unfortunately a guy jumped in and began blatantly WP-owning that article (and ignoring previous discussion) claiming he knew better than anybody else how to judge sources and how to achieve a text 'possessed of excellence'. After a few rounds with that guy, former classics graduate (?) Dave I completely ran out of patience and gave it up, and I'd suggest to anyone else to do the same and leave him alone. Rather few people are going to come looking at the Vesuvius article to get some info on the date (or even on the 79 eruption in general) anyway, most people will come first off to this article or just pick the date from books. Dave proved to be a thoroughly unpleasant and puffed-up know-it-all, and a man who sometimes doesn't even know how to construct readable prose; I don't wish for anyone to have to take him on. Strausszek (talk) 02:44, 20 May 2011 (UTC)


Pompeii is a ruined and partially buried Roman town-city near modern Naples in the Italian region of Campania, in the territory of the comune of Pompei. Along with Herculaneum, its sister city, Pompeii was destroyed, and completely buried, during a long catastrophic eruption of the volcano Mount Vesuvius spanning two days in 79 AD.
Some words seem superfluous and contradictory ... --Q Valda (talk) 19:04, 2 February 2010 (UTC)

It's a bit vague, but the first of those (ruined and partially buried) probably points, in part, to its present state - the city is not fully excavated, likely never will be, and it is certainly still in ruins. The phrase at the end - destroyed, and completely buried - on the contrary, seems to refer to 79 AD and what happened then. Both "destroyd" and "completely buried" are true at that point in time, and just because a city is destroyed it doesn't have to mean it is buried or utterly mauled to shreds. Strausszek (talk) 11:37, 7 February 2010 (UTC)
Yes, Pompeii today is a ruined and partially buried town, and in 79 AD was destroyed, and completely buried. I think, first words 'ruined and partially buried' are worth to remove ... --Q Valda (talk) 08:24, 28 February 2010 (UTC)


pompe (in Oscan) = "5" /Etymology: The name is usually explained from the Oscan *pompe 'five', derived from the IE root *penkwe 'id.' Probably, the name refers to five original villages. from: Böri (talk) 09:32, 16 February 2010 (UTC)

Ambiguity in Section "In Popular Culture"

The paragraph contains the lines: "The books have a cult following and students have been known to go to Pompeii just to track down Caecilius's house.[32] It was the setting for the British comedy television series Up Pompeii! and the movie of the series."
This incorrectly implies that Caecilius's House was the setting for "Up Pompeii". It needs re-wording to emphasise that "It" refers to Pompeii... (talk) 11:28, 5 April 2010 (UTC)

That is a good observation. Feel free to reword the sentence yourself, after all everyone are allowed to edit Wikipedia. --Saddhiyama (talk) 12:12, 5 April 2010 (UTC)

In the same section, I think Cities in Dust was more about the risk of a nuclear war and the general fear of future cataclysm, very much at the fore in the 1980s. ´Though she ,may be using Pompeii as a symbol. the song isn't about Pompeii Strausszek (talk) 14:34, 15 April 2010 (UTC)

3D Models of Pompeii

There are detailed 3D Google Earth models of many of Pompeii's buildings in the 3D warehouse at:

An External Link was added to this article pointing to the above page, but was reverted again.

Is there any reason why such an external link should not be added? If a picture tells a thousand words then a 3D model replaces a thousand pictures.

There are numerous other Wiki pages that contain external links to 3D Google models so it would seem inconsistent to exclude such a reference in this page. Examples include:,_Newcastle,_Faisalabad,_Newcastle,_Melbourne's_College_Chapel,_Cambridge,_Newcastle

Pmolsen (talk) 06:15, 24 October 2010 (UTC) Pmolsen (talk) 21:00, 24 October 2010 (UTC)

Those certainly look very interesting, and if accurate would be a valuable link to include in the article. My question is how does Google vet these 3-D models? It looks like not all uploads are accepted so there seems to be some sort of editorial oversight. In the event that Google doesn't actually check them, details such as what the models are based on would go a long way to laying aside concerns about accuracy. I suppose even if not entirely correct they at least give an idea of how the site might have looked which is useful in its own right. Nev1 (talk) 19:35, 27 October 2010 (UTC)
The 3D images are available by opening the "Google Earth" link from Geohack, and on Google Earth, checking the box next to "3D Buildings"; then all 3D Buildings are highlightable and clickable to view. It's not very direct, but they are reachable. To be fair to other mapping and visualization solutions, I would rather find a way to add a Google Earth link to GeoHack which defaults to having the 3D Buildings already active. --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 01:59, 28 October 2010 (UTC)

There is a checking process in the 3D Warehouse that automatically checks models for various things. The models are then checked by Google staff. One of Pompeii's leading researchers, Professor John Dobbins of the University of Virginia, who is Director of the Pompeii Forum project, has been involved with the construction of the models. ( ) He has been providing valuable advice on the accuracy of the models and has also taken numerous photos for use in texturing the models.

Drew Baker, a Senior Research Fellow with Kings College London involved with research into the Large and Small Theatres, has provided similar assistance in relation to them. ( )

Several of the models are based on 3D laser scans done by CyArk and are accurate to within 10cm. All others have been constructed based on hundreds of separate photos. Total time for the models completed so far has been over 2,000 hours, totally voluntary and done for the purpose of assisting with the study of Pompeii. The models are also viewable in Google Maps by clicking on the Earth tab. For those who use other visualisation platforms, all of the models are freely downloadable and can be converted to any other 3D format desired. Having a direct link to the 3D Warehouse models makes it easy for those users to obtain a copy of them. Pmolsen (talk) 08:04, 29 October 2010 (UTC)

Does anyone else have an objection to the external link going back in please? Pmolsen (talk) 20:31, 1 November 2010 (UTC)

A final request for anyone who objects to a link to the 3D models of Pompeii going back in to state reasons please. Otherwise in the absence of any discussion or objections I will reinsert the link. Pmolsen (talk) 05:51, 22 May 2011 (UTC)


There is Graffiti on the first lines of the article, but it cannot be removed easily. Malicious script? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:44, 3 December 2010 (UTC)

I have seen that sort of thing before, it is most likely a cache that needs refreshing. It will disappear soon enough. --Saddhiyama (talk) 21:47, 3 December 2010 (UTC)


I must say that this is one of the best compillings of information about Pompeii that I have ever seen. I was unaware of the earthquake that took place before the eruption, thanks to everyone who had a part in this. -Jenny Ambrose, 15, North Carolina.

I agree with Jenny. The amount of work that goes into wikipedia in general is impressive and inspiring. Thanks to you all. Jamie. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:40, 15 December 2010 (UTC)