Skip to main content

Tuesday Travels: Herculaneum

Photo: A panoramic view of the ruins of the ancient city of Herculaneum

One of the days we stayed in Naples, John and I decided to get brave and use some of our free time to take the train to the nearby town of Ercolano to view the ancient ruins of Herculaneum. We caught the early train, so we could arrive at opening "to avoid the crowds." The rain did a good job of keeping the (albeit, off-season) crowds at bay, but our early arrival on an inclement morning did assure that we toured an almost-empty city.

Photo: An empty abandoned narrow path in Herculaneum
You may not have heard about Herculaneum; everyone seems to know about Pompeii, but Herculaneum also fell victim to Mt. Vesuvius in 79 A.D. According to our tour guide, Herculaneum was a more upscale town. At the very least, it utilized a sewer system that went under the streets, as opposed to the above-ground, free-flowing waste that traveled the streets of Pompeii. 

Another major difference between the two cities is that Pompeii was covered with ash from the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius, but Herculaneum was buried in mud. Because of the mud, air could not reach the ruins, so wood that normally would have decomposed is still preserved. The eruption occurred in 79 A.D., and it amazes me to think that anything wooden could still be around from that long ago!

Photo: John and I stand between the panels of the large sliding wooden door

The mud also helped preserve the vibrant colors of the art on the walls of the homes and shops. 

Photo: A room from a home in Herculaneum is covered with vibrant red and blue murals
Photo: A mosaic on a wall of a home depicts various animals against an intensely deep blue sky
Before Herculaneum was covered in mud, it sat right at the edge of the sea. (The mud extended the shore out quite a bit.) When Mt. Vesuvius first erupted, some of the residents of Herculaneum fled to the boat houses to await rescue. Unfortunately, rescue did not come. An intense blast of heat from another eruption instantly killed the waiting people. Today, around 300 skeletons can be seen at Herculaneum. According to our guide, DNA analysis has proved the familial relationships of some of the remains. It is a somber thought to reflect on the circumstances of the death of so many people. 

Seeing the skeletons, and hearing the information our tour guide, Luciano Leone, told us, really helped bring Herculaneum to life. If you ever visit, I would recommend hiring a tour guide. I learned so much more than I would have if I had just explored on my own. 

Photo: Our tour guide (Luciano Leone), poses for a selfie with John and me


Comments

  1. Our tour went to Pompeii instead, and i always wished i could have seen both.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are always more places to explore, aren't there?

      Delete

Post a Comment

Conversations are so much nicer when more than one person does the talking. :-) Please leave a comment and let me know your thoughts; I'd love to hear from you!

Popular posts from this blog

It's #RootsTech Giveaway Time!

In February of 2018, not knowing exactly what to expect, I attended RootsTech for the first time. What I learned is that RootsTech has something for everyone, from the most beginner of beginners to professional DNA genealogists. If you are interested in your own family story, come to RootsTech! RootsTech offers over 300 classes, amazing keynote speakers, an Expo Hall packed with all sorts of vendors, and evening cultural events. 

After an enjoyable experience in 2018, I returned in 2019, and even got my husband, John, to come one of the days to hear Saroo Brierley give a keynote address. 

Speaking of keynote addresses, this week RootsTech just announced that one of the speakers for 2020 will be David Hume Kennerly, a Pulitzer Prize winning photographer. I can't wait to hear his story!

RootsTech 2020 will celebrate its 10th anniversary, and is bound to be the best one yet! I have been delighted to be accepted as an official RootsTech ambassador. One of the perks is that I received a c…

Ten Things of Thankful: So Long, October!

Although the number of good moments in October outnumbered the sad, I'm still thankful it is now November!

November brings:
1. a time change. I'm thankful that mornings will be lighter earlier.
2. John's birthday. I'm thankful for him, and love thinking of ways to make his day special.
3. Drexel's birthday. He will be 7 years old this month. Time passes so quickly! I'm thankful for him; he's a good dog. 
4. Thanksgiving. I'm thankful we have a designated day to remember to be thankful.
5. Oldest granddaughter's birthday. She will also be 7 this month. Time passes so quickly! I'm thankful for her; she's a sweet girl.

Other things I'm thankful for this week:
6. Books. I read Educated  and started It's All Relative. Educated is thought-provoking on many levels. I'm looking forward to finishing It's All Relative; I started it in the Baker City Public Library while waiting for our van to be repaired. My copy from Amazon should arrive late…

Ten Things of Thankful: Nearly Christmas Edition

This is a busy time of year, and though it isn't as busy for me as it has been in past years, my to-do list still seems longer than the hours in the days. However, I find that when I spend time to focus on the reason for the season, I can feel the joy of Christmas and the tasks-at-hand fall back into their proper place. This week I had the opportunity to attend some wonderful events, and I'd love to take you along for a virtual tour:

Let's start at the Conference Center on Temple Square in Salt Lake City, Utah, last Friday night. The Tabernacle Choir joined with the Orchestra at Temple Square and the Bells on Temple Square, along with dancers and guest artists Kelli O'Hara and Richard Thomas, to present a spectacular Christmas concert. Although I couldn't record any of the performance, the following 2-minute video from the church provides an overview:




The last time John and I had attended a Christmas concert by the Tabernacle Choir, they were still holding those conc…