The Natural History of Pompeii

The Natural History of Pompeii

By: Frederick G. Meyer (editor), Wilhelmina Feemster Jashemski (editor)Hardback

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The sudden destruction of Pompeii, Herculaneum and the surrounding Campanian countryside following the eruption of Vesuvius in AD 79 preserved the remarkable evidence that has made possible this reconstruction of the natural history of the local environment. Following the prototype of Pliny the Elder's Natural History, various aspects of the natural history of Pompeii are discussed and analyzed by a team of eminent scientists, many of whom have collaborated with Jashemski during her years of excavation of several gardens in the Vesuvian area. This volume brings together the work of geologists, soil specialists, paleobotanists, botanists, palaeontologists, biologists, chemists, dendrochronologists, ichthyologists, zoologists, ornithologists, mammalogists, herpetologists, entymologists, and archaeologists, affording a thorough picture of the landscape, flora, and fauna of the ancient sites. The detailed and rigorously scientific catalogues, which are copiously illustrated, provide a checklist of the flora and fauna upon which future generations of scholars can continue to build.


1. Introduction; 2. The Vesuvian sites before AD 79: the archaeological, literary and epigraphical evidence; 3. Mount Vesuvius before the disaster; 4. The eruption of Vesuvius in AD 79; 5. Paleosols of the Pompeii area; 6. Plants: evidence from the wall paintings, mosaics, sculpture, plant remains, graffiti and ancient authors; 7. Pollen analysis of soil samples from the AD 79 surfaces at Pompeii, Oplontis, and Boscoreale; 8. Wood associated with the AD 79 eruption: its chemical characterization by solid state 13 C NMR as a guide to the degree of carbonization; 9. Identification of the wood used in the Furniture at Herculaneum; 10. Dendrochronological investigations at Herculaneum and Pompeii; 11. Environmental changes in and around Lake Avernus in Greek and Roman times: a study of the plant and animal remains preserved in the lake's sediments; 12. Fish: evidence from specimens, mosaics, paintings and ancient authors; 13. Marine invertebrates, fresh-water shells and land snails: evidence from specimens, mosaics, wall paintings, sculpture, jewelry and ancient authors; 14. Insects: evidence from wall paintings, sculpture, mosaics, carbonized remains and ancient authors; 15. Amphibians and reptiles: evidence from wall paintings, mosaics, sculpture, skeletal remains and ancient authors; 16. Birds: evidence from wall paintings, mosaics, sculpture, skeletal remains and ancient authors; 17. Mammals: evidence from wall paintings, sculpture, mosaics, faunal remains and ancient authors; 18. Health and nutrition at Herculaneum: an examination of human skeletal remains; 19. In conclusion.

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9780521800549
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 528
  • ID: 9780521800549
  • weight: 2525
  • ISBN10: 0521800544

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