I.A.14. Frozen In Time (Pompeii)

It’s called the “Garden Of The Fugitives” because of the 13 bodies found in an orchard garden, offers visitors a frozen glimpse of Pompeii’s last hours. The thirteen adults and children were found huddled together, making futile attempts to shield themselves from the onslaught of volcanic dust, pumice, stone, and ash.

This was the last part of our Pompeii tour and it saddened me, for in fact it was a city of the dead. But as a history buff it was very educational and informative.

I.A.11. The Waking Dead (Pompeii)

Mt. Vesuvius erupted in August 79 AD and Pompeii was buried under 30 feet of ash and mud. Those people that did not flee were reduced by the centuries to skeletons, they remained entombed until excavations in the early 1800s. During the excavations around 1,200 bodies were discovered. This means that the vast majority of the city of 20,000 fled at the first signs of the volcanic activity.

The unique set of circumstances created by the eruption has allowed archaeologists to bring one hundred of those bodies ‘back to life’ in the form of casts “that preserve the body at the moment of death.”

Seeing the bodies – men, women, and children and animals makes me sad in their waking dead state. They held on to something futile.

Photo: A pregnant lady on the ground in her death posture.

I.A.10. House of the Vettii (Pompeii)

Another of the most famous of the luxurious residences so-called House of the Vettii. The house is named for its owners, two ex-servants, successful freedmen: Aulus Vettius Conviva, an Augustalis, and Aulus Vettius Restitutus. Its careful excavation has preserved almost all of the wall frescos – paintings and decor. The house is full of beautifuly, colored, angelic themed paintings.

I.A.9. House of the Faun (Pompeii)

An impressive luxurious private residence so-called because of the splendid statue of the dancing faun in its impluvium (the rectagular basin used for catching rainwater). It housed many great pieces of art in Pompeii. The House of the Faun covers nearly 3000 square meters and occupies an entire city block. In the photo, the property starting from the faun and beyond as far as your eyes can see and gardens to the left and right. It must have been beautiful then … an Architectural Digest piece.

I.A.8. Lupanar Erotic Murals

It is of particular interest of erotic paintings on the wall inside the brothel. There are about 4 to 5 paintings. The images on the walls were sort of advertisements for the services offered. A guest would point out what services they wanted by pointing to a painting. Just like if I go to McDonald’s, I would point to a picture No. 3 which is a Quarter Pounder meal and I wait to be served.

I.A.7. Lupanar (Pompeii)

The building on the left is the Lupanar brothel. It looks like a nondescript building. As a trading town large numbers of people specially traders visited the town. To lead visitors to the brothel, phalluses were engraved on the road surface or on the walls of stone set in the buildings. The phalluses were visibly set on the basalt stone and all you need to do is follow its direction.

As I entered the building I find myself in an enclosed space or chamber. No windows and ventilation. Alongside the chamber are cubicles where the ladies would conduct their business. The Lupanar had 10 stone beds with mattresses. Reminds me of the animated TV show The Flintstones in the stone age setting.

I.A.6. Stabian Baths in Pompeii

This was a bathing complex called The Stabian Baths centering around a main bathing complex, an open pool and a gymnasium. There was a bathing suite section for men and a section for women because they were not allowed to bathe together. Bathing was an essential and important part of Roman life. People would meet friends to socialize and also to conduct business there. As seen in the walls of the bath are elaborate and colored frescoes or mural paintings scattered on the walls particularly of mythological legends.

This Roman baths were a precursor to exclusive country clubs, gentlemen’s, golf clubs, etc. that have arisen until our 21st century. Yes, I have enjoyed the amenities – comfort, entertainment, convenience, provided by a country club not as a member but as a guest.

I.A.5. Pompeii’s Wood-Fired Oven.

We visited a bakery. It shows a mill and and in the background is a brick oven. Grain was poured into the top of the mill. Slaves or donkeys were used to turn the upper portion to grind the grain.

After Vesuvius exploded, the bakers of Pompeii did not take time to remove baking bread from their ovens. During excavations, centuries-old blackened loaves of bread were found inside many of the brick ovens.

Perhaps the process of modern pizza cooked in wood-fired ovens can be attributed to the Romans.