1 Apr: Unearthing Pompeii

Under the orders of King Charles III – who wanted marble and classical art for his palace at Portici – Spanish military engineer Roque Joaquín de Alcubierre excavated some Campanian ruins on 1st April, 1748 – and discovered the long-lost city of Pompeii.

Buried beneath volcanic ash and debris since Mount Vesuvius erupted in A.D. 79, much of the city was remarkably preserved; including breathtaking buildings that portrayed the opulent lifestyle enjoyed by the city’s wealthy elite.

In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly explain how the site has since inspired all archaeological digs; ask why Pompeii in particular has generated such huge human interest; and reveal the truth about ‘Wanking Man’…

Further Reading:

• ‘Excavations of Pompeii in the 18th Century · The Discovery of Pompeii and Herculaneum’ (from ‘Piranesi in Rome’, Wellesley College): http://omeka.wellesley.edu/piranesi-rome/exhibits/show/discovery-of-pompeii-and-hercu/pompeii-excavations

• ‘The two embracing ‘maidens’ of Pompeii are both MEN’ (MailOnline, 2017): 


• ‘Pompeii: New Studies Reveal Secrets From a Dead City’ (National Geographic, 2016):