Pompeii Archaeological Guidebooks: Unpeeling Pompeii - Studies in Region

By Joanne Berry

Published by Mondadori Electa (2000)

Pompeii is the richest of all archaeological sites from the ancient world. The catastrophe of volcanic eruption is a destructive force greater even than the nuclear bomb. But once the work of destruction is complete, the volcanic pumice preserves. In unpeeling the layers of pumice from the site, the archaeologist also unwittingly destroys, exposing what has survived for two thousand years to the destructive force of other, everyday, elements: rain, sun wind, dust, and the passing feet of visitors. Pompeii has never been so much at risk of a second destruction. This exhibition comes out of a project of international collaboration by scholars concerned by this threat to Pompeii, convinced of the importance of recording, studying and interpreting the precious evidence that has already been exposed before it crumbles. The speed and carelessness of the excavations of the past now seem horrifying.

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