The UC team of archaeologists works on site at the Pompeii excavation.
As doomsdays go, few can top Pompeii's. The volcanic cataclysm of Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D. buried the vibrant city and many thousands of its residents under layers of ash and rock several feet thick. It was a force so sudden and swift, there was no escape.
The Roman populace near modern day Naples, Italy, was left frozen in the throes of death and hidden for nearly 1,700 years. The fate of Pompeii is one of history's enduring tragedies, and now the excavation site has grown into one of the most popular tourist attractions in Italy.