The Forum is rectangular-shaped measuring 515 by 124 feet. Surrounding it are shops, temples and municipal offices. It was arcaded on three sides by the Samnites before the birth of Christ and was being renovated by the Romans when Mount Vesuvius erupted. Most of the columns were constructed from travertine stone. These three Doric columns supporting an architrave (the beam resting on the capitals) are located along the Forum’s western edge.