Inhabited since at least 700 BCE, the ancient town of Pompeii located near modern day Naples, Italy was conquered and absorbed into the Roman empire in 80 BCE. At its height, the small city had a thriving economy based on trade and agriculture, which supported a population estimated between 10,000 to 20,000 people. The city, which featured a complex municipal water system, an amphitheater and gymnasium was destroyed by a volcanic eruption in 79 CE. The eruption of Mount Vesuvius resulted in its burial with 4 to 6 meters of volcanic ash and pumice. While the eruption killed everyone living at Pompeii at the time, it impeccably preserved the elaborate city.