Painstakingly restored homes in Pompeii were recently unveiled to the public. The ruins of the ancient city had mostly remained preserved due to the sudden volcanic eruption in 79 A.D., but excessive tourism and general neglect had deteriorated the archaeological marvel to the point of collapse.
Turned into a neatly preserved time capsule by the sudden eruption of Mount Vesuvius, Pompeii is considered one of the finest examples of ancient architecture and town-planning. Now people can once again glimpse at them. After a lengthy restoration process, six restored homes of well-to-do citizens of Pompeii will be opened for public exhibition. The newly restored houses in the ancient city of Pompeii feature intricate mosaic tiles, bathhouses, and even graffiti, reported CNN.
When Pompeii was initially discovered, researchers were left in awe as they gazed at the ancient city. Not just because of the near-perfect preservation of the city, but due to the statutes of common folk. One of the most devastating of ancient catastrophes, the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, had engulfed the town and its unsuspecting inhabitants in hot rock, volcanic ash, and noxious gas. The eruption was so sudden and violent; it caught most of the inhabitants of the city unawares. The ruins of Pompeii featured statues of city's inhabitants in poses as they tried to escape.
Many people were discovered in fossilized form and their possessions remained neatly encased, beautifully preserved by the volcanic ash. Most of the victims, who couldn't manage to escape, were covered in several feet of ash. The severe lack of oxygen that killed them, also preserved and fossilized them in the process.The ruins of Pompeii have always been considered as one of the best in archaeological history as they leave little to speculation and the need for logical inferences as the way of life remained perfectly frozen in time.
However, once the ruins were discovered, tourists flocked to Pompeii and so began the city's gradual deterioration. For years, the site has offered historians and tourists an intricate and up-close picture of life in the once flourishing town, reported Las Vegas Review Journal. One of the most technologically advanced cities of its time, Pompeii featured a complex water system, an amphitheater, gymnasium, and a port.
A city once famous for its various trades and craftsmen deteriorated rapidly once its ruins were discovered in the 18th century. Unprotected from constant flooding, a constant barrage of careless tourists and overall neglect by the various officials had taken a heavy toll on Pompeii. The Italian government has been criticized for letting the uncovered Pompeii homes fall to ruin after years of overwhelming tourism, reported the Examiner.
After being closed to the public for some years as result of a 2012 partnership between the EU's European Commission and Italian authorities, six restored homes are now open to the public to marvel. The partnership spent 150 million Euros for 12 sub-projects. A team of experts worked hard to consolidate structures that were deemed "high risk." They pieced together a complex drainage system, and restored artifacts that were near collapse.
A UNESCO World Heritage site situated near Naples, Italy, Pompeii is one of most famous historical sites in the world. However, multiple labor disputes prevented the proper restoration of the ruins and stopped tourists from legally visiting the site. Italy has the highest number of historic sites that are accorded the coveted UNESCO World Heritage protection.
About 5,000 historic relics ranging from museums and monuments to ancient ruins like Pompeii are located in and around Italy. About 50 of these cultural gems are supposed to be protected from overeager tourists and vandals. However, experts have long lamented the general apathy of the government in preserving these ancient pieces of architectural marvels. While many of the monuments are at a high risk of disintegration because of lack of public resources, about 42,000 have been left at the mercy of natural disasters with nary a care in sight.
[Photo by Mario Laporta/Getty Images]