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Mount Vesuvius as seen from Pompeii
By the 1st century AD, Pompeii was one of a number of towns located around the base of the volcano, Mount Vesuvius. The area had a substantial population which grew prosperous from the region's renowned agricultural fertility. The eruption occurred on August 24, 79 (some suggest that the eruption was on November 23). The people and buildings of Pompeii were covered in up to twelve different layers of tephra, in total 25 meters deep, which rained down for about 6 hours.