Archaeology & History
Tourist returns rocks taken from Pompeii due to fears over 'curse'
By T.K. Randall
January 21, 2024 · 4 comments
The streets of Pompeii. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 2.0 Bruno Rijsman
For years, the city of Pompeii has been associated with stories of bad luck inflicted on anyone who removes anything from the site.
Situated near modern-day Naples, Italy, the ancient Roman city of Pompeii was buried in ash and dust when Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD, resulting in the deaths of thousands of its inhabitants.
Today, the ruins remain an important archeological site due to the fact that the ash preserved everything and everyone that was unfortunate enough to be there at the time.
The people of the city can still be seen there now, frozen in time like statues, offering a unique glimpse into the daily lives of those who resided there as well as a grim reminder of what happened to them.
For this reason, visitors are asked to be respectful when visiting the city.
It is also the reason, perhaps, why rumors of a curse have arisen there over the years.
The story goes that anyone who removes anything from the site risks being struck down by bad luck, something that many people claim to have experienced.
So great is the belief in this curse, in fact, that quite a few people who did take rocks from the city as souvenirs have since returned them in the hope of relieving themselves of their misfortune.
One such instance was recently shared by Gabriel Zuchtriegel, director of the archaeological park in Pompeii, who posted up a note that accompanied some rocks that someone had sent back.
"I didn't know about the curse," the letter reads. "I didn't know that I should not take any rocks. Within a year, I got breast cancer. I am a young and healthy female, and doctors said it was just 'bad luck'."
"Please accept my apology and these pieces."
Many similar letters and returns have been received by officials over the years.
So could the curse be real ? Perhaps... but it's more likely that a curse such as this only becomes real to someone who happens to have convinced themselves that they have been inflicted with it.
Source: IFL Science
| Comments (4)