Pompeii is possibly the most famous abandoned city of the ancient world. At the time of its destruction, the city was less than two centuries old. Ancient Romans had no way of knowing that Mount Vesuvius would instantly suffocate the wealthy villas and homeless peasants alike with over 4 meters of volcanic ash. When the city was excavated from its burial over one thousand years later, human bodies, historic artifacts and buildings were preserved very well due to a lack of exposure to the elements. Ruins of arched amphitheatres and broken columns are incredible, but plaster casts of suffocated human victims are horrifying. The city of Pompeii serves as a remarkable tribute to the power of nature.