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# Vignette 15

**Vignette 15: Write from the perspective of an archaeologist unearthing the remains of Pompeii. How might it feel to discover these ruins? **

Mount Vesuvius had once claimed Pompeii for its own, but now it would be reclaimed by humanity. Though many archaeologists had tried before this venture was going to unearth the largest area of Pompeii yet and restore its homes to their prior grandeur.

The hardest part had been taken care of, the funding. Roberta Monroe had managed what no other had been able to. She had managed getting our program the full funding, plus additional. Who would have imagined that crowd sourcing would bring me this close to unearthing a part of Pompeii that had not been seen by anyone since that fateful day.

"You ready to go Jones?" Roberta smiled as she shoved her safari hat onto her small head.

"As ready as I ever will be. Where do we start?"

"You tell me genius. You are the archaeologist after all."

Stepping onto the ground from the truck was almost as exhilarating as I knew the first shovel full of dirt would be. Now that I was here I was in disbelief. To the North of our dig site visitors walked through the remains of that part of the city. I was glad barriers had been put up around our site. I'd hate knowing that some traveler had soiled the site with their feet. This was my life's work and I didn't want anyone spoiling it for me.

"Mr. Jones we've had the interns quarter off an area for you to get started. It was the spot you had marked on the map your team sent us."

The foreman of the site handed me a map. Roberta had made sure everything was in place. "Thank you. We'll get started shortly. Will you gather everyone?"

He nodded and walked away towards a larger group of people. Many were interns and a few fellow archaeologists. Everyone was going to be working on a high of discovery, at least the idea of discovery.

The group gathered quickly. The anticipation all of us were feeling was overwhelming. We we feel the shovel in the Earth and soon we would.

"Thank you all for being here and already putting such effort into the beginning of the this dig. Pompeii has already given us some of her secrets, but not all of them and that is why we are here. We're here to learn more of what she has to offer. We're here to learn about her people and what they lived through." I let out a joyous laugh. "You didn't come here to hear me blabber on. Let's get to it."

Everyone clapped and a few yelped out in excitement. I took a small hand shovel that Roberta had handed me and dug it softly into the ground. Already something peaked from underneath the dirt. The corner of something. For me it was the start of something.

"We've hit gold already!" I exclaimed.

A few of the interns came running over with tools in hand. A blond kneeled next to me and looked at me questioningly. I nodded and she began to brush around the artifact, whatever it may be.

This is what I had put all my time, blood, sweat, and tears into and it was finally coming true. I'd finally be able to unearth Pompeii and her many secrets. Maybe I'd even be able to unearth some of my own.
eologist unearthing the remains of Pompeii. How might it feel to discover these ruins? **

I wipe the sweat away from my eyes, the sun beat down on my head. How can the sun be so inconsiderate? I've been climbing for probably close to three hours and that stupid star just kept burning, heating my hair so much that I wish that I wore one of those stupid tiny umbrella hats.

As my glasses began to slip from the sweat behind my ears, I saw it, and they fell into the dirt next to my feet. I didn't take the time to wipe them off before I put them back on. What I (kind of) saw nearly made me scream.

I guess I didn't know fully what to expect, I had read the articles and studies by others, looked at all the pictures for probably too long, getting super nerdy over history. I knew what I would see, and I thought that I was prepared, but actually seeing it was... terrifying.

The open mouths, arms out in front of faces, trying to stop the onslaught of hot ash that tore at skin. These people were not just preserved by this ash, they were seared by it, tortured by it. The ash did not preserve them, it took them as prisoners of its conquest.

This city was not owned by its people anymore, nor was it truly owned by any person. I know this because of the dust attacking my lungs. Nature had taken its territory back from these people. Forces of nature were more real (and probably more powerful) than the gods that pompeii had worshipped. Nature has no consideration for the life that it has created. It demands to be felt, to be paid attention to, it's like a teenage girl, only it can hurt people over a larger area.