Mystery Explored: Pompeii: Secrets Revealed
Expedition Dates: September 27 – October 10, 2004


In 79 AD, the volcano Vesuvius exploded in one of history’s deadliest eruptions, burying the city of Pompeii and other Roman towns along the Bay of Naples beneath layers of ash and pumice. Pompeii was rediscovered in the 18th century, but only recently have archaeologists and volcanologists come to understand exactly how the eruption unfolded, and why it took the people of Pompeii almost entirely by surprise. Intrigued, I visited the Bay of Naples and learned the entire area is built on ancient volcanic rock, some of it still steaming. I climbed the world’s most active volcano, Stromboli, an island near Sicily, where “fireworks” from the mountain are a nightly entertainment. Back at Pompeii, I searched for clues that might have enlightened the Romans to the growing threat in their midst and, finally, I descended into the heart of Vesuvius.

Sponsoring Institution: The History Channel

Experts involved:
Dr. Andrew Wallace Hadrill, Archaeologist
Dr. Giovanni Orsi, Volcanologist
Dr. Civetta, Volcanologist
Mr. Lorenzo Russo, Guide
Mr. Bererdino Bocchino, Climber

Locations Visited:
Naples, Italy
Stromboli and Strombolicchio
San Sebastiano al Vesuvio, Italy
Phlegraen Fields / Solfatara



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