The ancient Roman city of Pompeii was buried by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, seen in the background of the first photo, in 79 AD. Pompeii was originally settled by indigenous Oscans some time before the 8th century BC. At various times it was ruled by the Etruscans, Greeks, and Samnites. It was a city of shops, markets and comfortable townhouses with paved streets, a stadium, theaters, temples and even brothels. Then it was suddenly immersed in pumice stone and ash with the eruption of Vesuvius, which preserved the city for centuries. It was rediscovered in the 16th century during a land reclamation operation. During years of subsequent excavations, archeologists were able to establish a detailed picture of life as it existed in a 1st-century Roman city.