Pompeii is one of the most historic cities in Italy

Pompeii, the city that a Zaragoza resident discovered by mistake

Redacción Monday, April 8, 2024 / 13:21

It was the year 79 when the Vesuvius volcano stopped the life of Pompeii. The Roman town disappeared and with it thousands of citizens. For many, this place and its history will be more than well known, but what has barely been revealed is that it was discovered by a Zaragoza native: Roque Joaquín de Alcubierre.

Born in the capital of Maña in 1702, he completed his first studies in his hometown to soon join the Royal Corps of Military Engineers as a volunteer.

Throughout his professional career, he held positions of great relevance in the search for ancient treasures. With the support of the Count of Bureta, he carried out his activity in notorious destinations such as Catalonia and Madrid, later requesting definitive admission to the Corps of Engineers in 1733, being named captain five years later.

In 1738, while working on the design of the royal palace at Portici, he proposed an excavation of the area. The idea, which was supported by what would become King Charles III of Spain, allowed the discovery of the remains of the city of Herculaneum, also buried by the same volcano.

The great discovery

Ten years later, the engineer, who had been promoted to lieutenant colonel in 1749, decided to begin a new excavation work with twelve workers in Civita. In the process of undermining, he believed he had discovered the city of Stabia but, after finding a stone cup, he discovered that he was in front of the old Roman city of Pompeii.

Throughout the ruins of the city of Pompeii you can see casts that show the lives of the citizens who could not escape the eruption

This was the first time that the way of life of ancient Rome during the 1st century was known. With the excavation tasks, places such as the Roman amphitheater of Pompeii or part of the Via de los Sepulcros were unearthed, scenes that are preserved in the remains of the ancient Italian city.

In his work as a researcher, motivated by the desire to rescue antiquities and fulfilling his military obligations, Alcubierre discovered other places such as Sorrento, Cumas, Pozzuoli and Capri.

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