“What did the citizens of Pompeii do that was so great?”

But I was walking through Pompeii and my friend, he says, you know, something along the lines of, “Will our society leave behind something this great? Like, look around us, you know, like, this is beautiful. This is, you know, insane what we’re walking through right now.” And part of me was like, you know, “What did the citizens of Pompeii do that was so great?” Because like the importance of that site it isn’t, you know, anything that was special about Pompeii as such. You know, like the residents of Pompeii didn’t really – I don’t know, as far as I’m aware, they weren’t all that historically important. They didn’t do all that that was interesting. It’s just a city, that happened to be covered by volcanic ash and, like, became well preserved, and then became a ruined site that was excavated and it’s the reason we know so much. But like I found my roommate’s reaction a little odd. Like not in the sense – like it was really cool to be walking through but I was like, “Well, of course we’re gonna leave behind something like this, or at least we already have. This is just a city, like this is no different than modern Rome or Chicago.” It’s probably closer to like, you know, Detroit or even Knoxville, Tennessee, you know, or… You know, it’s not even necessarily like – I don’t know why Knoxville, Tennessee popped into my head, but, you know, just like it’s a city, it’s not like even all that important, right? Detroit’s pretty important. But like, yeah the point I’m making is that the city – that’s a small city that’s important but not, you know, really all that relevant to the day-to-day cultural life of, I don’t know, of the people living there. You know, that’s what Pompeii was. It was just day-to-day people doing day-to-day things and that’s what makes it such an important archaeological find, is it revealed to us, probably more than anything, like the day-to-day lives of individuals in the Roman Empire in that time period. Same with Ostia Antica in – closer to Rome. Now these are ruins sites that – but again, like the point is, and in order to respond more directly to that question, is that the people who leave behind important historical artifacts usually don’t know they’re doing it and usually the artifacts aren’t that important. Or don’t seem all that important. They are just day-to-day things. They are just your average objects.

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