Pompeii and Herculaneum

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  1. When was the earthquake which warned the cities of Vesuvius of the eruption in AD79?
    • AD62 
    • Evidence of this earthquake can be seen in Pompeii with some buildings never fully rebuilt.
  2. Why is Campania (region of Vesuvius) 'felix' or lucky?
    • 'River Sarno takes cargo both inland and out to sea' - Strabo
    • Bay of Naples - 'famous fish and shellfish' - Pliny the Elder
    • 'Fertile land and temperate climate' - Florus
    • 'Shores watered by hot springs' Pliny the Elder 
    • 'Flowers blossom twice a year' - Florus 
    • 'Wine clad hills with glorious wine...better olive oil' - Pliny the Elder
  3. What were the stages of the AD79 eruption?
    • Initial explosion - great cloud of ash, pumice and gases 20km into the air.
    • Pumice falls over pompeii with rocks as big as 1cm to 20cm causes roofs to collapse.
    • Pyroclastic surges/flows - collapse of hot gas and pumice column which races south and west at 100km with the 1st surge covering H in 3m of ash.
    • 2nd Pyroclastic flow - covers H in further 1.5m of ash
    • 3rd surge - hits H again sealing it under 20m of ash
    • 4th, 5th, 6th flows - reached temperatures between 100'C and 400'C bury Pompeii in 4m of ash 
  4. What is the estimate population of P & H?
    • P = 8 - 12,000
    • H = 4 - 5,000
  5. Why is Pompeii not just a Roman town?
    • Free to direct affairs under general Roman supervision 
    • Spoke both Oscan and Latin
  6. What features have not been found in H?
    The Forum
  7. How have excavation methods changed from C18th to today?
    • Scientific methods and technologies 
    • Analysing and recording what they have found rather than more digging
  8. What evidence is there that H was a wealthy resort/ fishing village?
    • Villas nearby e.g. villa of papyri 
    • Fishing sheds and boats found on the shoreline
  9. How did people die at Pompeii?
    People died from asphyxiation (ash fills their lungs) and heat which can be seen in their facial expressions and body language.
  10. How did people die at Herculaneum?
    People died from thermal shock proven by analysis of skeleton, especially skull fractures.
  11. How did organic materials, such as timber, carbonise at H?
    The heat of the Pyroclastic flows (over 400'C).
  12. How big is the town of Pompeii?
    66 hectares however only 44 has been excavated
  13. What evidence indicates Pompeii was a commercial town?
    Thermopoli (takeaways), bars, theatres, baths, amphitheatre, wheel ruts, markets e.g. Macellum (meat and fish).
  14. Why has only 4 blocks (22 hectares) been excavated at H?
    The modern city Ercolano has been built on top of the site.
  15. List the main features of Herculaneum's street scape:
    • Narrow streets divided into blocks (insula)
    • sea wall
    • classical greek layout
    • well drained, sewerage
  16. How did the water system work?
    Appenies mountain range --> aqueduct --> reservoir castellum --> 42 fountains/latrines/public baths
  17. Describe the experience at the Latrines?
    Public Latrines were located in public places such as the baths and palaestra above the flowing channel to dispose of the waste. They were communal with a shared stick and sponge to clean yourself.
  18. Why did Pompeii have large paving stones across the streets?
    These pavements were designed to prevent pedestrians from stepping in the sewerage which flowed through the streets
  19. Importance of commerce in P is evident in...?
    • 600+ shops including 130+ bars and 30+ bakeries 
    • Scenes of commerce in mosaics
  20. Which archaeologists made plaster casts of vine roots?
    Wilhelmia Jashemski
  21. Who was famous for Garum and how do we know?
    Pompeii was famous for garum with the leading manufacturer Scaurus a freed man. In H a label was found reading 'ex oficine scavri' meaning 'from the shop of Scaurus'
  22. What were the main imports and exports?
    • Imports:
    • tableware, wine, oil, garum

    • Exports:
    • Garum
    • Wine
  23. Where were the shops and workshops located?
    Many were located in the front rooms of houses  that lined the main thoroughfares
  24. What is the evidence used to what shops sold/produced?
    Shops have been identifed from wall paintings depicting specific tools e.g. mason's tool
  25. List the main evidence to suggest the Macellum was a meat and fish market?
    The 12 slabs on the middle supported poles for the roof, fish bones and scales found in the drain below also suggest this was a fish market.
  26. What evidence is there of the banking industry in P?
    127 wax writing tablets of business transactions of sulpici family (family of bankers) with details of loans, IOUs and receipts.
  27. List all known occupations of P & H
    metal workers, artists, potters, glassblowers, tradesmen, wealthy merchants, manufacturers, bankers, innkeepers, bath attendants, brothel keepers
  28. What was the job of fullers?
    To wash and shrink the fabric so it could be turned into togas
  29. Why is the Fullery of Stephanus so famous?
    The Fullery of Stephanus is located via dell abbondazaand was a domus (house) converted into a house. It holds an impluvium (washing basin and vats for liquid in the garden and a fresco depicting the fulling process.
  30. What were the three different pieces of clothing worn?
    • tunic = popular choice for men
    • toga = more formal and represented high status e.g. whit with purple border
    • stola = an ankle length toga worn by women
  31. What is the evidence of how jewellery was used?
    • gift = snake bracelet found in P engraved "from the master to his slave girl"
    • worn = lady found with rings and bracelets in a boat shed at H
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Pompeii and Herculaneum
2014-01-15 06:51:12
Pompeii Herculaneum
Study questions on Pompeii and Herculaneum; the core for the HSC Ancient history course!
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