What is the best book to read for a basic introduction to Pompeii? Paul Wilkinson has just produced Pompeii: the last day (BBC Books, £16.99), written to accompany the recent TV reconstruction of the destruction of the city. The link with the TV programme is loose, and this is really just another summary of the archaeology of the city. As such, it is serviceable: it tells you where to go and what to see, and there is a sensible one-day tour of the site for the independent traveller, with summary notes on each of the key monuments to be visited. The account of the eruption is excellent as a summary of the latest thinking, but the book as a whole does not really draw on the new research that aims to reveal the sociology of the city


This article is an extract from the full article published in World Archaeology Issue 4. Click here to subscribe

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