Pompeii, founded in the 6th century BCE by the Oscans (an Italic people), it came under Roman rule after the Samnite wars. By the first century CE it was a prosperous provincial capital with a population estimated between 20, 000 and 25,000 people. In 62 CE Pompeii experienced a major earthquake which resulted in heavy damage. The town was rapidly reconstructed and restored. The people and the administration used the damage as motivation to enrich their town with abundant architectural and artistic projects. Mount Vesuvius suddenly erupted in 79 CE, burying the town with approximately 20ft of pumice and ash. Excavations began in the 17th century. A large part of what we know about the daily life of ancient Romans is attributable to these excavations.