Revisiting Pompeii – discovering what most first-time visitors miss12th December 2017
With a whole city’s worth of preserved buildings to explore, and amazing details to be spotted on almost every surface, Pompeii is a site that rewards its visitors again and again.
Keep your senses alert, or return to the city more than once, and you’ll have the chance to spot what most first-time visitors miss. The best thing to do is, of course, to tour Pompeii in the company of an archaeological expert. In the meantime, here’s a sneak taster:
• Traces of earlier natural disasters – The big one was, of course, the cataclysmic eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. But Pompeii had been damaged by natural disasters before, not least by a massive earthquake in 62 AD. (According to the writings of Seneca, this earthquake also released a cloud of poisonous gas, killing a nearby flock of 600 sheep.) Experts can point out evidence of significant rebuilding in Pompeii – signs of a city in repair, ultimately wiped out for all time
• The Cult of Isis – Discovered in 1764, the Temple of Isis was one of the first buildings on the site to be brought to life, and is a popular stop for visitors interested in the remnants of this Eastern Mystery Cult. It was also the only temple building to be fully restored in the wake of the 62 earthquake. The presence of Isis, patron goddess of sailors, also lingers elsewhere – many statues and icons have been found at Pompeii, alongside interior frescos in private houses
• Erotic Pompeii – If you’ve ever toured this incredible site before, it’s highly likely you stopped at the Lupanar, a famous ancient brothel. The sexual underside of Pompeii is by no means confined to this building, however – you just need to know where to look for it. Graffiti advertising prostitutes appears on walls throughout the site. And within the excellent Naples Museum, you can even enter the ‘Secret Cabinet’, an astounding collection of erotica retrieved from Pompeii and Herculaneum
To experience all of this first-hand, and so much more besides, why not join one of our tours for 2018? Whether it’s your first time in Pompeii, or you’d finally like to do the city justice, our expert Guide Lecturers will introduce you to a selection of ancient intricacies that are simply too good to miss.