Roman funerary urn from Pompeii. 19th-century chromolithograph of a funerary urn in blue glass, found at Pompeii. This urn is used to store the ashes of a dead body following its cremation. The Roman city of Pompeii, located in the Bay of Naples, Italy, was ruined and buried under thick layers of ash during an eruption of the volcano Vesuvius in 79 AD. The city was rediscovered and excavated in the 18th and 19th centuries, and today it is a tourist destination visited by millions every year.