An observation and analysis of the ancient city of pompeii

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An observation and analysis of the ancient city of pompeii

Its remains have long been a staple of archaeology and ancient history curricula while its demise is described in countless books and has served as inspiration for artists since ancient times. Two motifs that recur in discussions of the ancient city are those of mortality and sexualityboth themes that oscillate between the realms of fascination and taboo.

This paper will use cognitive methodologies within archaeology to analyse the layers of semantic baggage that have been loaded onto the site since its interment. By showing the ways in which the site has been repossessed as a vehicle of our own desires and fears, it will elucidate the more subliminal aspects of our relationship with the ancient world.

Today Pompeii is a site predominantly known to the public for three reasons: The culture of the discoverers became the lens through which the site and its inhabitants were seen and understood. As archaeological methods and the social ethos changed, so did interpretations of the site.

Through its uncovery, Pompeii developed into a cognitive landscape, encoded with meaning. The study of cognitive archaeology and historiography is quite a recent affair, stemming from the debates between processual and post-processual theorists within the discipline. Vesuvius; more preserved bodies; the streets of Pompeii.

Although we can agree that the idea of inferring ancient thought from artefacts is debateable, by reversing the focus of this research frontier, it becomes a stimulating method to explore how the societies to which the archaeologists and historians belong interact with the sites of the ancient world.

Through such studies many impressions of the town have been revealed to be our own retrojected sensitivities. By looking at our own modern discourse on Pompeii and inferring the ideologies behind it, we can better understand how our own systems of thought have developed and where their source truly lies.

This requires an interdisciplinary method including elements of historical, archaeological and psychological analysis applied to our own adaptations of the Pompeii myth.

By extracting these from the narratives of the past we can better understand the paradigms of the interpreters and how they conceived the taboo subjects and interacted with the ancient site. The primary way in which Pompeii appears in the ancient sources is as a site of tragedy and devastation.

This instinctive response is one of instant repulsion and pain at the sight of something so jarring. Simultaneously the viewer feels attraction to its power and a delight in knowing he is not embroiled in the horror.

Such images of the desolate Roman town falling to ruin, become repositories for our own terrors, a way to externalise them by displacing them onto an outlandish scene.

Through stories, the site becomes more than just a repository for abstract concepts of the Sublime and mortality. The ruined city is populated with recognizable characters allowing the public to connect with the remains on a personal level.

Representations in art and literature allowed the contemporary population to build a connection to the site, making it a symbol for many later disasters, even into our own time. Thus the town became more manifestly appropriated as a setting for projecting contemporary anxieties about our own vices and the final judgement.

This is most clearly reflected in the interest for the plaster-casts, preserving the semblance of the inhabitants of Pompeii in their moment of death. They appeared at a time when preservation of artefacts was becoming an important part of historical discourse.

Early on they were presented as a process by which scientists could recreate the forms of human bodies and more evidence could be gained about the site.

In our fear of being forgotten we feel the need to preserve the memory of the lives of those who preceded us. Through our personal identification with these individuals they gain a posthumous life. This creates a dormant intimacy between the living and the deceased that is rekindled upon the uncovering of their imprints.

Mary Beard describes this as a modern voyeuristic obsession with these chalky white figures forever stuck in limbo between death and life. He is forcing the viewer to engage with the urge to return to an earlier state of being often through re-enacting traumatic events, termed by Freud as the death drive.

The plaster casts become the physical bodies of the deceased and the reconstructed roads are equated with those walked upon by the Pompeians themselves, although in both cases the context has been completely altered. The excavation and reconstruction of the site creates a tension between the factual recording and the conceptual recreation of the ancient world.Ancient Roman cities, like ancient Pompeii and her sister city Herculaneum, were literally stopped dead in their tracks, frozen in a moment of everyday life in the first century.

Pompeii is situated 7 miles (11 km) southeast of Mount Vesuvius.

An observation and analysis of the ancient city of pompeii

"The Destruction of Pompeii, 79 AD," EyeWitness to History, (). At the time of its destruction, Pompeii is estimated to have had a population of 20, Pliny became a lawyer at age 19 and did quite well. Nearly 2, years ago, Pompeii was a bustling city located in what is now southern Italy.

But in the summer of A.D. 79, the nearby Mount Vesuvius volcano erupted. It spewed smoke and toxic gas 20 miles into the air, which soon spread to the town. Pompeii may be ancient history, but scientists are pretty sure Mount Vesuvius is overdue for.

Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD, killing thousands of residents in the ancient Roman city of Pompeii. The eruption is particularly famous for the effects of its pycroclastic flow, a dense, fast. The ancient city of Pompeii, located outside of modern day Naples, is one of the most visited sites in Italy, giving us the unique opportunity for a small glimpse into what it would have been like to live in the Roman Empire almost 2, years ago..

In the turn of the first century A.D., the town of Pompeii was a flourishing metropolis for the distinguished . Pompeii was a large Roman town in the Italian region of Campania which was completely buried in volcanic ash following the eruption of nearby Mt. Vesuvius in 79 CE. The town was excavated in the 19th and.

10 Fascinating Facts About The Ancient City Of Pompeii - Listverse