PASQUALE SORRENTINO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PASQUALE SORRENTINO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Roman ruins at Pompeii, Italy. These are the ruins of the Basilica, which was built in the second half of the second century BC. The Basilica was a trading and business centre. Pompeii was a flourishing town of some 20,000 inhabitants when it was destroyed by the eruption of the nearby volcano Vesuvius on 26th August 79 AD. The eruption buried the town under a thick layer of ash, and it remained undiscovered until 1599. It was not until 1749 that attempts were made to excavate the town, however. The town was very well preserved in the ash, and the excavations revealed a huge amount about daily life at the time.
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