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Pompeii: General view of the ruins
One of the larger villas in foreground, road in background. Located SE of Naples at foot of Mount Vesuvius; possibly founded by the Oscans in 6th century BCE; ruled by Samnites, then taken by Rome ca. 80 BCE; was prosperous city and resort; damaged by earthquake in 63 CE, rebuilt; destroyed by eruption of Vesuvius in 79 CE. The eruption buried Pompeii under 22 meters of ash and pumice, and it was lost for nearly 1,600 years before its accidental rediscovery around 1592. Since then, its excavation has provided an extraordinarily detailed insight into the life of a city at the height of the Roman Empire.