Ruins of Pompeii
December 17, 2006
The above photo shows the ruins of the ancient Roman city of Pompeii, which was destroyed by Mt. Vesuvius in 79 AD. What I found especially interesting during my tour of the ruins is that the much of the architectural structure of the ancient city was made of pumice or hardened lava flows. Look carefully at the wall above and to the right of the clay pot on the left. The pumice is the darker stone used in the construction of the wall. It's widely thought that the Roman builders were simply unaware of the orgin of the lava, or that they knew that the city rested on a dried lava bed but thought that Mt. Vesuvius was no longer a threat.
Here's the irony; with all of the knowledge we have today of Mt. Vesuvius, and with prediction of imminent activity in the future, there are approximately 1 million inhabitants (200 times that of Pompeii) in the potential destruction zone at the base of Mt. Vesuvius. The lessons of the Pompeii and its 5,000 inhabitants killed during the eruption in 79 AD have evidently not yet completely sunk in. We're still somewhat oblivious when it comes to heeding warnings.