Feast your eyes on the opened book cradled in Teresa P.’s arms in the photos above. You’re gazing at Pompeii’s Temple of Apollo, as it stands today and as it may have looked in late August of AD 79!
We’ve just wrapped up our reading of Bodies from the Ash : Life and Death in Ancient Pompeii with Teresa and her classmates! James Deem’s excellent book describes, in a kid-comprehensible way, the AD 79 eruption of Mount Vesuvius, its terrible consequences for those unfortunate enough to be in the vicinity at the time, and the discoveries made in modern times by archaeologists excavating the Roman cities that were entombed, over a two-day period nearly two millennia ago, in volcanic ash and pumice.
By dint of her hard work in Saturday’s class, Teresa P. earned a special prize we’d set aside: a copy of a unique, currently out-of-print book about Pompeii! In addition to being chock-full of information about a historically significant site, every volume in the Monuments Past and Present series overlays numerous full-page color photographs of ancient man-made structures with archaeologists’ conceptions of how they would have appeared in their heyday. Each of these depictions is printed on a transparent sheet, with windows through which the extant portions of the structure are visible. The overall effect is wonderful and, at least until time travel becomes feasible, reading Pompeii: Monuments Past and Present is perhaps as close as one can get to traveling back to Roman-era Pompeii!