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Along with Herculaneum, its sister city, Pompeii was destroyed, and completely buried, during a long catastrophic eruption of Mount Vesuvius spanning two days in 79 AD. The volcano buried Pompeii under 60 feet of ash and pumice. The town was founded around the 7th-6th century BC by the Osci or Oscans. It had already been used as a safe port by Greek and Phoenician sailors. In the 5th century BC, the Samnites conquered it. In 89 BC, after the final occupation of the city by Roman General Lucius Cornelius Sulla, Pompeii was annexed to the Roman Republic. At the time of the eruption, the town could have had some 20,000 inhabitants. It was located in an area in which Romans had their holiday villas. In February 62, there was a severe earthquake which did considerable damage around the bay and particularly to Pompeii. Temples, houses, bridges, and roads were destroyed. It is believed that almost all buildings in the city of Pompeii were affected. In the time between 62 and the eruption in 79, some rebuilding was done, but some of the damage had still not been repaired. After thick layers of ash covered the two towns their names and locations were forgotten. Pompeii was rediscovered as the result of excavations in 1748 by the Spanish military engineer Rocque Joaquin de Alcubierre.
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