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Pompeii was an ancient Roman town-city near modern Naples, in the Campania region of Italy, in the territory of the comune of Pompei.Pompeii, along with Herculaneum and many villas in the surrounding area, was mostly destroyed and buried under 4 to 6 m (13 to 20 ft) of volcanic ash and pumice in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79.It became a Roman colony with the name of Colonia Cornelia Veneria Pompeianorum.The town became an important passage for goods that arrived by sea and had to be sent toward Rome or southern Italy along the nearby Appian Way.During the excavation, plaster was used to fill in the voids in the ash layers that once held human bodies.This allowed archaeologists to see the exact position the person was in when he or she died.Pompeii took part in the war that the towns of Campania initiated against Rome, but in 89 BC it was besieged by Sulla.Although the battle-hardened troops of the Social League, headed by Lucius Cluentius, helped in resisting the Romans, in 80 BC Pompeii was forced to surrender after the conquest of Nola, culminating in many of Sulla's veterans being given land and property, while many of those who went against Rome were ousted from their homes.
According to Strabo, Pompeii was also captured by the Etruscans, and in fact recent excavations have shown the presence of Etruscan inscriptions and a 6th-century BC necropolis.
According to Theodor Kraus, "The root of the word Pompeii would appear to be the Oscan word for the number five, pompe, which suggests that either the community consisted of five hamlets or, perhaps, it was settled by a family group (gens Pompeia)." The ruins of Pompeii are located near the modern suburban town of Pompei (nowadays written with one 'i').
It stands on a spur formed by a lava flow to the north of the mouth of the Sarno River (known in ancient times as the Sarnus).
By the time of its destruction, 160 years later, its population was estimated at 11,000 people, and the city had a complex water system, an amphitheatre, a gymnasium, and a port.
The eruption destroyed the city, killing its inhabitants and burying it under tons of ash.