Named after Hercules, this is the other city besides Pompeii that was destroyed when Mt. Vesuvius erupted in 79AD. Most people have heard of Pompeii and would plan to visit there to experience this history. We learned that Herculaneum is actually better preserve, but mainly, it was on our route.
The main difference we learned about the preservation is that, in Pompeii, those who excavated and restored the site used a technique to inject plaster into the places where the skeletons were found. This acted like a mold and the results are more lifelike figures of all the people who perished in Pompeii. Herculaneum did not use this technique. The skeletons are still in their natural state and therefore, provide more scientific history.
Think about it ... if you visit a cemetery, there may be hundreds of lives represented there, but they are from different places and they died at different times. In Pompeii and Herculaneum, you have thousands of people all killed at the same time. Their remains give us a picture of a moment in time for entire families - the children, parents, grandparents, etc. Scientists studying these sites were able to learn a lot about the culture in 79AD.
If you're interested in learning more, that means me :-) Here are some links:
- The website for Herculaneum Archaeological park
- Wikipedia page for the Eruption of Vesuvius in 79AD
- A travel site compares Pompeii and Herculaneum for sightseers
We had a nice day on our visit, a bit overcast, but then it wasn't too hot. It was interesting to see Mt. Vesuvius in the background.
After walking down and down the long walkway, the first sight is the rooms full of skeletons. It's hard to imagine the horror.
|Jim on the streets of Herculaneum|
|We really like our bags from Rick Steves.|