Read the following passage, which contains some underlined or numbered words or phrases.
Each of the answer choices contains alternatives for the underlines; choose the one that fits best grammatically or stylistically. If you think the original is the best answer, choose Choice ‘A’, or NO CHANGE.
Questions about specific parts of the passage or about the passage as a whole are identified by numbers only, not underlines. These will be associated with specific questions.
On August 24, 79 ACE the ancient city of Pompeii was annihilated by a rain of fiery ash and pumice caused by the
eruption of Mount Vesuvius. The city was frozen in time as the ruins were buried for centuries; its streets, frescoes,
mosaics and inhabitants largely preserved by the fifteen to 20 foot deep layers of volcanic debris. Running down
the streets filled with flaming ash, the city of Pompeii had citizens who were caught in the cataclysm and perished in
the eruption, and their remains left untouched for centuries. The city of Pompeii is still a repository of archeological
discovery and a famous tourist attraction, not only because of the pristine and immaculate nature of the site, with
frescoes and mosaic decorations preserved for all time, but because of the bizarre voids left in the compacted ash and
pumice by the bodies of those who perished on that day. But regardless of the popularity of the site in popular culture,
much is still unknown to the general population about the reasons the site remained buried and unexplored for
hundreds of years.
(7) To understand the destruction of the city of Pompeii. It’s historical rediscovery requires a little background into the
early nature of the city itself. A wealthy city of more than 20,000 inhabitants, Pompeii had experienced a great deal of
development. Public baths, an amphitheater, a central swimming pool, and a vast number of private residences and
business concerns were built. What most do not realize is that the style of Pompeian art was explicitly sexual, and
featured many votive objects and frescoes that were shocking to early explorers of the site in their eroticism. The very
nature of the Pompeian artistic style could possibly have been one of the reasons this site has remained so well
preserved. In 1599, an architect who was attempting to redirect the Sarno River uncovered some of Pompeii’s ancient
walls, covered by frankly sensual fresco paintings. This architect, Domenico Fontana, reburied them, as they were
considered too vulgar to be able to be seen by his contemporaries. This reburial of Pompeii saved the historic site for
several more centuries.
The first real excavations of the city began in the mid-1700’s but the grisly discovery of human bodies, whose decayed
remains left spaces in the ash layer didn’t occur until Giuseppe Fiorelli noticed the voids in 1864 and injected plaster
into them. The archeologists of the time recreated the forms of the victims of the eruption, frozen in plaster at the
moments of their deaths.
Today, the site is a popular destination for tourists from all over the world, and has been memorialized in many
art forms over the years.  There are many paintings, poems, and films that have been made about Pompeii, as
the city and its destruction still spark the popular imagination of its visitors. The song “Pompeii” by Bastille is a
perfect example of the obsession with the doomed city. The nearby town of Pompei – only one “i” – is largely a
tourist town, catering to those who want to visit the ruins, explore the ancient site and experience, in person, the
Pompeii they have only known through popular media.
Created for Albert.io. September 2014
(7) To understand the destruction of the city of Pompeii. It’s historical rediscovery requires a little background into the early nature of the city itself.