A gloriously illustrated and comprehensive survey of the most famous ancient site in the world.
When Vesuvius erupted in A.D. 79, the volcanic material that buried the provincial Roman town of Pompeii also preserved it for posterity and rendered it one of the most famous archeological sites in the world, where the modern discipline of archeology began more than 250 years ago. Berry (Unpeeling Pompeii), an archeology instructor at Swansea University, Wales, masterfully gathers primary sources, discusses the various excavations of Pompeii and the neighboring ancient holiday resort Herculaneum. Berry vivifies Pompeii's bustling everyday life, particularly its architecture, religion, economy, women's roles, and arts and cultural scene. Pliny the Younger's detailed eyewitness account of Vesuvius's destruction, reprinted here, retains its freshness and urgency The majority of Pompeii's denizens were at least semiliterate, and graffiti both vulgar and banal grace the forum, while election propaganda and advertisements for gladiator games plaster houses, shops and tombs. The most famous Pompeiian woman was the priestess Eumachia, who built the forum's largest public building with her own funds, while ostentatious private houses became personal status symbols among the elite of the prosperous empire. Highly readable and lavishly illustrated with more than 300 photos and maps, 275 in color, this authoritative, comprehensive resource is a boon for archeology buffs. (Nov. 27)Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information