At our meeting on 23rd February we had another fascinating lecture from Paul Lawrence: this time the subject was Pompeii. The interest in this location stems, of course, from the volcanic eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD, an event which was recorded by ancient writers and which had the effect of preserving a moment in time. The town was buried by volcanic fragments, sealing its buildings, streets and some of its unfortunate inhabitants; and has thus become a major site for archaeological enquiry. The nearby smaller town of Herculaneum suffered in a similar way, but because of the lighter quality of the material which covered it, it has been even more perfectly preserved. The remains from both sites provide many fascinating insights into life in the first century Roman Empire, particularly the graffiti and paintings (mostly now in the museum at Naples), whose immediacy captures the imagination of visitors.
We are grateful to Paul for his clear exposition, based on expert knowledge and well-illustrated by some excellent photographs.