Did the Ancient Egyptians live in Pompeii? That is a surprising question and the answers are even more surprising. This documentary Egyptian secret at Pompeii explores that possibility. The run time for this documentary is 40:25. Curtis Ryan Woodside produced and did the research for this documentary.
Pompeii was an ancient city that was covered by Mount Vesuvius. It is a picture of what life was like in Ancient Rome. It was the most popular city in the Roman Empire. Its fame was known far and wide. How could Pompeii be influenced by Ancient Egyptians? Where can you find the Egyptian influence in Pompeii? This documentary explores the origins of Pompeii and how the Ancient Egyptians influenced the city.
Pompeii before it was covered by Mount Vesuvius, had experienced small tremors over the years. The earthquakes led them to become even more devoted to their gods. This was a hint as to what was to come. The Pompeii people were repairing the latest damage from earthquakes when Mount Vesuvius erupted again. Where are Pompeii’s origins?
Pompeii was founded by the people from Italy’s region of Campania. They settled in Pompeii due to its location of the river, the mountains, and the ocean. It was settled in the 7th Century BC. However, there was evidence that the first settlements happened during the 9th Century BC. This would have been 3,000 years before initially thought. Archeologist Cleopatra Lawrence participated in a dig and discovered a piece of pottery. This piece of pottery had a rare symbol on it and shines a light as to who founded Pompeii. This pottery hinted that there were the locals that founded Pompeii.
The Greeks eventually stopped in the same area and created a city. Pompeii would eventually be a stopover for trading in the Mediterranean. The Greeks moved to southern Italy and established Naples. Greeks from Naples would move across the bay and Pompeii would grow from that initial small settlement. The Etruscans would eventually move to Pompeii and would also stamp their influence on Pompeii. Eventually, the Romans would move to Pompeii. At the start of this settlement, Pompeii would not be ruled by the Romans and would remain independent until they stamped their authority on Pompeii.
Pompeii was the city to live in and was home to almost 20,000 people. It was a place where many cultures came together. You could find Roman Villas, Greek Amphitheaters, and Egyptian-inspired temples. Rome and eventually the Roman world would be influenced by Pharoah Ptolemy VI. Pompeii would have been aware of Egypt for decades. Curtis along with a tour guide Alex Falanga tour a villa that shows the Ancient Egyptian influence in Pompeii. He views a room in this villa that shows Egyptian symbolism. The Egyptian gods are portrayed in Greek robes and Osiris has a full beard. Additionally, there was a cobra and images of temple items found on this wall. The people worshiped many different Egyptian gods and goddesses. Isis was a favorite of the people of Pompeii.
Curtis continues to find little signs of the Egyptian influence on Pompeii. There were paintings and statues found throughout Pompeii. Scenes from the temple of Isis are now on display in a museum in Naples. Pompeii was a mix of cultures and was accepting of those cultures and religions. When did the Egyptian influence arrive in Pompeii? Who were the people who brought the influence in? Tune into the rest of this episode to find out more.
This is a very well-done documentary about the Egyptians at Pompeii. I was not sure what to expect when it comes to independently produced documentaries, so was pleasantly surprised at how well this was produced. Curtis has a very soothing voice too which made the documentary easy to follow and listen to. The discussion on the origins of Pompeii was interesting and nice to see new information presented. Additionally, I enjoyed that Curtis talked about the impact of Greece on Southern Italy. This would be a good documentary to add to your list of documentaries to show to a high school history class. The information is well presented and Curtis puts forth a good argument for the Ancient Egyptian influence on Pompeii.
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