So today we went to Herculaneum.
Herculaneum like Pompeii was lost after the eruption of mount Versuvius in 79 AD. However the cities were affected differently. Whereas Pompeii was covered with volcanic ash, Herculaneum was covered in a pyroclastic flow ( lava ). So this difference has resulted in different outcomes for the cities and their people.
If you zoom this image you can see a wall in the background that wall is the height of the ground after the lava came through. The lava pushed the coastline back 3 miles. The base of that wall is where the beach was originally in Herculaneum. Today the old city sits 20 metres below current ground level.
For many years they thought that most of the people escaped Herculaneum, it actually wasn't until the second day of the eruption that Herculaneum was covered. Then in 1980 they did some more digging and they found the boat sheds and they found these poor souls. Four of the sheds ( that have been uncovered) have remains similar to this, they beleive that these are predominantly women and children, the men were perhaps trying to find a way to escape and planned to come back . . . .
Because of the lava things were preserved in Herculaneum that weren't in Pompeii, in the above box is carbonised rope.
In this window above the women's baths are the remains of a glass window.
The remains of a wooden privacy screen and the upper railings
The remains of a wooden bed , on a similar bed in another area they found a skeleton.
One of the beautiful frescos in the (college of Augustus)
Mosaic floor. An interesting note about this, our guide was telling us the white dots and lines on the outside , weren't just decorative. In 79AD they used oil lamps and moonlight to guide them at night, the White in the mosaic reflected the light so provided a guide for them at night . . .
Herculaneum was really interesting and out guide was lovely.
It s interesting that the majority of Herculaneum still lies buried and will remain so, as the the new town of Ercalano is built right up to the very edge of the ruins and on top of the old city. But as our guide said,they know that what's in there is safe and will remain so.
We are lucky to have Pompeii and Herculaneum, so we can better understand life in those times. But it's terrible that all these people died so horribly. Today thousands of people live in the shadow , on the flanks of Mt Versuvias, beneath the sleeping giant. You can only wish that such a disaster never happens again.