sâmbătă, 23 octombrie 2010

A walk through history: Pompei and Herculaneum

The second day of our wonderful vacation in Naples was planned to be in Capri, but as we got up and saw the cloudy sky we decided to make a little change of planes and go to Pompei and Ercolano to see the sites and ruins of what was left of the once-so-flourishing cities.

When Vesuvius erupted in A.D. 79 covering the city with a dense cloud of ashes, lapilli (volcanic pebbles) and detritus buried  Pompei under a thick layer 7 meters deep and Herculaneum under 30. It was a matter of hours versus minutes.

During civil construction work begun in 1594 the architect Domenico Fontana dug a channel into the hill of Pompeii and discovered traces of buildings which however he did not recognize as the remains of ancient Pompei.

From the 1920s the idea of excavating in order to have a complete view of recovered buildings began to gain ground.

Besides elegant villas belonging to the richer citizens, there were blocks of more modest housing, as well as many shops, restaurants, hotel and public buildings. 

The eruption covered Pompeii with volcanic ash and pumice stone, a much lighter material than in Herculaneum. As a result, the survivors of the disaster were able to  retrieve some of their possessions, leaving less behind than in other locations. This also made it easier for the site to be excavated.

The houses generally had two floors, with a garden or internal courtyard, and were decorated by architectural coverings and paintings of fine quality.

{Fugitives trying to escape to a nearby vineyard}

{La Pinetta}



Herculaneum was covered by volcanic mud during the A.D. 79 Mount Vesuvius eruption, which quickly hardened to a semi-rock material. As a result, excavations have been much slower here than at Pompeii, and although the first Herculaneum discovery dates back to 1709, the uncovered area here is much smaller. Also, a large part of the ancient town lies under the modern one, which has slowed down the process further. The findings, though, are stunning, mainly because Herculaneum is thought to have been a glitzy seaside resort for wealthy Romans, and so boasts villas even more elaborate than  those of Pompeii.


Ci vediamo domani!

Un comentariu:

Just me spunea...

the title of this post is very appropriate. when you look at the pictures you can make a walk trough history. it's very beautiful and places like this have so many memories and secrets. you just have to explore them and have a little patience:) very nice;) :*:*:*