An intense eruption then rumbled on for 48 hours. Still, the effects weren’t immediately evident; indeed, Pliny recorded that all seemed well during the morning of August 24. Later in the day, however, a tower of black smoke emerged from the peak of Vesuvius, and hot ash and rocks began to rain down on Pompeii and Herculaneum.
Then came the deadly lava – in liquid rivers that destroyed all in their path. The eruption ultimately finished in the latter part of the afternoon on August 25. And once the molten lava had cooled, Pompeii and Herculaneum lay under as much as 60 feet of volcanic rock.
Centuries on, Pompeii is now one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world. Much of the area has been excavated, with some exquisite examples of Roman art being revealed in the process. On a more gruesome note, the remains of many of Pompeii’s unfortunate residents have also been uncovered; and these people’s poses upon death were later replicated through the use of plaster casts.