PASQUALE SORRENTINO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PASQUALE SORRENTINO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Amphitheatre ruins at Pompeii, Italy. This is one of the best preserved amphitheatres in existence. It dates from around 70 BC and could hold around 20,000 spectators watching sports and games. 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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