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MOUNT VESUVIUS  erupted in 79AD and the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum were completely buried. 


For 1600 years, their secrets were lost in time.  When a peasant in the early 1700s discovered marble blocks while deepening his well, he found Herculaneum. Thus began the removal of everything valuable from both cities.  In the 1800s, significant and ground-breaking archaeology of the sites began. 


Guiseppe Fiorelli was the inspiration for new methods of excavation, but was best known for his plaster casts of victims of the eruption.

The 20th Century saw many exciting developments, beginning with the work of Amedeo Maiuri. New research and technology, guided by Sarah Bisel, Estelle Lazer and Haraldur Sigurdsson, uncovered a society frozen in time. 

 However, ethical issues surrounding the display of human remains, and how best to conserve and reconstruct the sites, post challenges which continue today.


This is the second of two programmes on Pompeii and Herculaneum, and is accompanied by Paul Latham's extensive  teachers' notes.

 This programme is regarded by Ancient History teachers as a comprehensive and valuable resource.  Filmed on location.


Ancient History -  Ancient Society and Culture - Classical Studies - Society and Environment


SENIOR:  Ancient Society and Culture -  People, Place and Time

JUNIOR:  Ancient Societies Australian Syllabus History: Level 7 Year 7 & NSW Stage 4 - Investigating the Ancient Past

DURATION: 46 Minutes

Download Chapter Headings

Download Teachers' Notes



00:00  Introduction

1:18  The earthquake of AD 62

3:40  Mount Vesuvius Eruption AD 79

11:54  Discovering The Buried Past - 18th Century

 15:58  Changing Methods of 19th Century Architecture

 23:46  Investigating & Preserving The  Past - 20th Century Archaeology

31:08  New Research & Technology

37:37  Ethical  Issues

40:51  Conservation & Reconstruction

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