On an August morning in 79 A. D., Mt Vesuvius burst open, spewing smoke, flames, burning stones and poisonous gas into the air. Ash and rock rained down from the volcano and superhot mud buried the surrounding countryside. Picture shows part of the ruins of Pompeii, overlooked by Mt.Vesuvius.

photographs © [2007] Jupiterimages Corporation

Pompeii: a kidcyber weblink page

During the era known as Ancient Rome, the city of Pompeii was a major seaside resort about 8 km from the volcano Mount Vesuvius. Many people lived in the city, and it was a popular holiday destination for wealthy Romans who had summer homes there. In 79 AD (now called CE) the volcano erupted and the city of Pompeii and the nearby city of Herculaneum were destroyed, buried under 10 metres of volcanic ash and debris. In the mid 1700s, archeologists found the buried city and began to excavate it.

kidcyber recommends these sites for further information:

Archaeologists learned a great deal about the life of Roman times when they excavated Pompeii... it was like a preserved time capsule. Go here to read about the life of Pompeii

For Pliny the Younger's eyewitness account

Read more here, and see a photo of Vesuvius from outer space

Take a virtual tour of modern day Pompeii here: http://www.thecolefamily.com/italy/pompeii/

For a look at Mt. Vesuvius and it's way of erupting, go here http://www.harcourtschool.com/

For some facts about Mt Vesuvius, go here

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