In 79 A.D. near Naples, Italy, Mount Vesuvius erupted blanketing the Roman city of Pompeii with fifteen feet of volcanic ash. The nearby city of Herculaneum was smothered in an ash and rock mixture which, when cooled, became a sixty-foot mass of solid rock. Both towns were devastated and rescue was impossible. Virtually forgotten until they were accidentally discovered in 1594, renovation did not begin until several centuries later. Although a tragedy at the time, historians have been rewarded with a fascinating time capsule of life during the Roman Empire. Many buildings look much like they did 2000 years ago. Beautiful frescoes and mosaics have been restored, graffiti discovered, and remains of food have been unearthed. The book, part of the "Visiting the Past" series, contains exceptional photographs from both cities and the text is informative, giving the reader a clear impression of the era. Some inventions and architecture are indeed remarkable! Stepping stones in the Pompeiin streets allowed people to cross without getting wet and running water in Herculaneum provided fountains and a sewer system. Included in the book are a timeline, glossary, and index, making the publication a valuable source for the classroom.