THE URBAN DEVELOPMENT OF THE PRE-ROMAN CITY
The origins of the town of Pompeii date back to the archaic period when, sometimebetween the eighth and sixth centuries BC, an urban nucleus grew up in connection with two sanctuaries, one to Apollo and the other to Minerva or Hercules (cf. De Caro, Ch. 6). The settlement was located on the promontory of a high lava plateau near the mouth of the river Sarno. Only certain elements of this original nucleus were conserved in the later Roman town buried by Vesuvius in AD 79; today these can be seen in the irregular plan of the southwest zone of the town which clearly contrasts with the regular appearance of the northern and eastern zones.