Pompeii “House of Lovers” reopens to public after 40 years (photos)

That sediment helped to preserve many buildings almost in their original state, as well as the curled-up corpses of Vesuvius’ victims

Vivid frescoes and never-before-seen inscriptions were among the treasures unearthed in a massive years-long restoration of the world-famous archaeological site Pompeii that came to a close Tuesday.

The painstaking project saw an army of workers reinforce walls, repair collapsing structures and excavate untouched areas of the sprawling site, Italy’s second most visited tourist destination after Rome’s Colosseum.

New discoveries were made too, in areas of the ruins not yet explored by modern-day archaeologists at the site — frequently pillaged for jewels and artifacts over the centuries.

Read more: archaeology news network