09 April, 2011

A-Z Blogging Challenge: H Stands For: Herculaneum

I know I've posted about this before, but since I really do think this city deserves more attention . . . have you ever heard of Herculaneum?

You know, the city that got destroyed by Vesuvius in 79 AD?

Yes, Pompeii was bigger. Yes, they found buildings and macabre human-shaped cavities. Yes, there is some interesting stuff at the city.

But I still think Herculaneum is cooler.

Recently, archaeologists have found the old basilica, a painted statue head, mosaics, a loaf of bread, even wooden structures such as furniture and buildings, thanks to the heat and intensity the pyroclastic flow. And that's after people back in the 1700s or so looted the place, digging tunnels throughout the ruins (Herculaneum was buried under 65+ feet of ash) and hacking apart many of the paintings to sell.

The only problem with excavating it is that there's a city above the ruins.

Of course, having a city there is rather dangerous. If Vesuvius erupts again like the way it did in 79 AD--and that's not impossible in the least--it could mean a disaster many, many times greater than the one thousands of years ago. 6 million people live where Herculaneum, Pompeii, Stabiae, and Oplontis (those are the other towns destroyed) used to be. Evacuation plans for the Bay of Naples only account for 600,000.


If you'd like to learn more, go HERE to the PBS Secrets of the Dead and watch the video.



The danger of a volcanic eruption aside, it's a cool site, don't you think?

-----The Golden Eagle


GigglesandGuns said...

I am going to relax with this video later. I don't know how I missed it. Thanks for the post and the link.

Liz P said...

I actually hadn't heard of Herculaneum - we pretty much learned about Pompeii and that was it. It seems like an amazing archaeological site. That first picture really caught my attention, the water pouring over the old buildings...

Tyrean Martinson said...

Thanks! It's odd but when I read the name and started reading your post I had an "I almost remember that" kind of recollection - but I am glad for the reminder. Very amazing!

the writing pad said...

Amazing video and great that this ciy an give us such a window on the past.
Thanks for the post, and the link -All best

The Words Crafter said...

Very cool. And I hadn't heard of this city before, I must have missed the previous post.

I love reading about ancient volcanic eruptions and what has been uncovered.

Thanks for this one!

L.G.Smith said...

You're right, Pompeii gets all the attention. I've never heard of this place before. Very cool.

And I was actually betting you would use the word hibernaculum. This was much better.

Anonymous said...

Though my focus isn't ancient history, as a graduate student, this kind of stuff is always fascinating. I love the photographs of these ruins. I'll be checking out the video shortly.

Thanks for the post!


Mary Mary said...

Very fascinating! I think those photos have such a haunting beauty to them, and such a mysterious history that everyone seems to enjoy. Thanks for sharing!

Michael Di Gesu said...

Very interesting.

I've been to Pompeii, but I didn't know there were others.

li said...

Absolutely, it's cool! I love visiting any/all historical places, but it's especially interesting and poignant when a site reveals the everyday life, homes and objects of ordinary people.

Siv Maria said...

Buried and ancient civilizations have always fascinated me. Always had a thing for Indiana Jones, wouldn't it be fun to travel all around the world and discover such amazing finds? Atlantis, now that too is a mystery. Just love coming here and learning. You sure you are a teenager?

Susan Kane said...

Excellent. We went to a Pompeii exhibit at the Museum of Nat'l History in S.Diego. It was amazing, heartbreaking, tender--all at the same time. Great video.

The Golden Eagle said...

Mary: I hope you enjoy the video! :)


Liz: Pompeii gets the attention, most of the time--although when you Google "Vesuvius" there are some mentions of Herculaneum.

Tyrean: You're welcome!

It's such a fascinating site.

Karla: It tells us so much about how people lived back then.

You're welcome. :)

The Words Crafter: It was a while ago . . . I'm not sure of the date. :P

Me, too.

You're welcome!

L.G.: I wouldn't have thought of hibernaculum . . . LOL. I had to look it up!

TRR: There are some amazing photographs--an image search brings up all kinds of interesting pics of the site and what they found there.

Mary: The people they found are even more haunting--they found at least 300 skeletons down by the boathouses, presumably because people were trying to evacuate by the sea.

Michael: They're not mentioned much--which is why I wrote this post!

Li: It is. It's a real sign that people were living there, and going about their daily activities.

The Golden Eagle said...

Siv: I've never watched Indiana Jones, but I love learning about this sort of discovery, too. :)

Yes, I'm sure. LOL.

Susan: It sounds like a fascinating museum!

Glad you liked it. :)

Heather said...

I haven't heard of it! How fascinating! There is a great story in there somewhere. I'll have to put this one on my to be researched list!

Sofia said...

That's so cool! I don't think I've heard of the city before... Though I might've read a previous post about it. :D


maureen said...

Ever since I was a small child I knew of Pompeii and Herculaneum and wanted to see them. I did get the chance to see Pompeii several years ago but, unfortunately, there was not enough time to make it to the other town buried by Vesuvius. Thank you for the pictures from there...now I am more determined then ever to get back to see the 'other' town.
There is so much to learn from these places and Pompeii, in it's greater accessibility helps people who would not otherwise expose themselves to the wonders of the ancient world experience this ancient world and to hear the voices echoing down through the centuries.
I'm now following your blog and thanks for being a Google friend to my wee blog.

L. said...

Secrets of the Dead rocks! One of my favorite PBS shows.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Fascinating! The photos are really cool.

Dafeenah said...

I am so glad you found me today. I had never heard of this but now I am off to read more because I love learning about things like this. Thanks so much for stopping by!!


Lauracea said...

Still learning something every day. And what an intriguing name for a place. I'm going to watch the video now...

Old Kitty said...

I've been to Pompeii and was completely enamoured by the site - it's totally fascinating!!!

Thanks for the link to the PBS video - will watch it in bits and pieces when I can!!

Take care

Donna Weaver said...

I hadn't actually heard of it, but it's seriously cool.

I'm curious about the picture from your background. Is it the Cliffs of Moher?

Emily Rose said...

That's really interesting!

Kris Kaumeyer said...

I love seeing documentaries and pictures of Herculaneum. It's an amazing snapshot of life before the eruption. It's still haunting seeing the casts they made from the bodies left by the ash.

Josh Hoyt said...

Yes it is very intriguing. It is so amazing how we think we are so safe and yet in a matter of minutes we can all be gone.

Gail said...

Amazingly beautiful...thank you.

Gregg said...

I had never heard of the town. But now I am very intrigued. Will have to check the video! Beautiful photos.

Gregg Metcalf
Colossians 1:28-29

Gospel-driven Disciples

Joyce Lansky said...

This is a fascinating place. It even has ancient graffiti scribbled on the walls. Great read for the letter H.

If you have a chance, check out my H at http://joycelansky.blogspot.com. It's on Historic Humor.

Theresa Milstein said...

Amazing. Thanks for sharing this.

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

My Dad and bonus Mum went to the area last fall. They said it was spectacular! I'd love to go there too. I remember being infactuated with Pompeii when I was in school.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

You come up with the most wonderful posts. I fell in love with Herculaneum just from that picture of the art on the wall. Gorgeous and fascinating.

Heather Henry said...

Wow, this is a fantastic blog! I homeschool my kids and I am going to have them follow your blog and links daily now, for part of their school. I think they will really enjoy the content, very interesting.
Thank you!! Great blog! :)
Thanks for visiting my blog, so I could find you!!

Melissa Kline said...

BEAUTIFUL photos and wonderful, informative post! I love stuff like this - kind of a science and geography nerd. :) Thanks for sharing!

Reflections on Writing

brave chickens said...

I've heard of Herculaneum (and Pompeii) because I've read 'The Roman Mysteries' series. Wow, they found mosques? That's just... amazing. :D

moe said...

Er, I just re-read your post and hope to have time to watch the PBS vid but...um...perhaps you meant something else when you said "mosques" were discovered...Unless they were added to the site at some point much later in history, it is not possible for mosques to exist at 79 a.d., the time of the eruption.
A Mosque is a place of Islamic worship and that faith was not established until approximately 700 years later.
Still gorgeous pictures and I still want to go there...


Kristine Asselin said...

I watched a lot more of the video than I intended--very interesting stuff. Thanks for sharing! I, too, had never heard of Herculaneum.

Dancing Through Life said...

I wish I had heard of Herculaneum before...very interesting. THanks for exposing us to the wonder of the world! :D

Madeleine said...

I hadn't heard of it before.
I have written a haiku in its honour!

Ruins under a city
But once a cool place :O)

The Red Angel said...

Hmm, I took Latin in high school and we talked about Rome, but the teacher never brought up Herculaneum! This is definitely cool :) Thanks for sharing with us!

Thanks so much for following my blog. :) If you're interested, come sign up for my 100-Followers Blogfest, titled "Inanimation," it's going to be great!



Melissa Bradley said...

Definitely an often overlooked site when talking about Vesuvius and Pompeii. Very cool and interesting post.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the history lesson. I love this stuff. Too bad so many ancient ruins have been, well, ruined by looters and grave robbers.

Tomara Armstrong said...

I must watch that. Fascinating stuff.

RaShelle said...

That's way frickin cool! I love stuff like this - love history. Thanks for the link. =D

Lisa said...

That is so interesting. I always like the less traveled places. They are always more amazing.

Thanks for following my blog.


Cindy said...

very neat.. I have heard of that H place but can never keep track of it's name :)

junebug said...

Gorgeous!! I can't wait to check into this info. Thanks. Stuff like this fascinates me.

Stratoz said...

well my wife would say any place with mosaics is worth blogging about, and I love the geological history... so keep blogging about it

The Golden Eagle said...

Heather: There are a lot of possible stories in an old ruin like that, aren't there. :D

Sofia: Probably!

Maureen: It must have been amazing to visit Pompeii!

And there's so much to learn from these cities. :)

Thank you so much for following!

You're right about the mosque, by the way. I changed it yesterday to "basilica"--which is what it's supposed to be! I don't know why I put down mosque.

L.: It's a cool show! :)

Alex: Glad you liked them!

Dafeenah: Hi, Dafeenah! Welcome to The Eagle's Aerial Perspective. :) I'm glad I found your blog on the A-Z list.

I hope you found the links helpful!

Lauracea: Isn't it a fascinating name? And yet it's not heard nearly as often as Pompeii.

Hope you liked the video!

Old Kitty: Pompeii sounds like such an interesting place to visit!

I hope the video works for you! I know PBS players don't for people in the UK, sometimes.

Donna: It's definitely on my list of awesome historical sites.

I don't really know . . . it's one of Blogger's free photos from the Template Designer. But it does look like the cliffs of Moher, doesn't it?

Emily: And there could, potentially, be even more discoveries at the site!

Kris: It's too bad there aren't MORE documentaries/etc. about Herculaneum. There are so many about Pompeii.

I always found the casts a little disturbing. :P But they are interesting to see.

The Golden Eagle said...

Josh: You'd think that after events like Haiti and Japan there would be even more efforts to ensure that people would be able to evacuate areas such as the Bay of Naples--but since the odds are so high, a lot of people seem to be ignoring it.

Gail: You're welcome! :)

Gregg: I hope you enjoyed the video! :)

Thanks for coming by my blog!

Joyce: Graffiti's been around for a while, hasn't it? :P


Theresa: You're very welcome! I'm glad you liked it.

Sharon: It looks like a fascinating place--must have been great for your parents to get to visit it!

Tricia: Aw, thank you!

The art there is amazing. And there's so much of it, even if a lot was destroyed by the Bourbons.

Heather: Thank you so much! I hope your kids enjoy the posts--although it's going to feel a bit strange, seeing as I'm homeschooled. :P

You're welcome! I'm glad I found your blog.

Melissa: Thank you!

Science nerd here, too. ;)

Brave Chickens: Must check out that series! Any book that features this city is on my "to-read" list. :)

Erm, that was a mistake, actually. I meant to say Basilica!

Kristin: Such is the way with PBS. You watch way more than you intended. ;D

You're welcome!

Dancing Through Life: I love pursuing subjects that aren't mentioned much in the history books. :)

You're very welcome!

The Golden Eagle said...

Madeleine: I love your haiku! :D It's perfect.

TRA: Latin? Awesome. I've always been curious about that language . . .

You're welcome!

I'll definitely check out the blogfest! I'll see if I can do it--the A-Z Challenge might get in the way. :(

Melissa: It's too bad more information isn't out there about it. But maybe, not that archaeologists are discovering more, it'll get some of the spotlight. :)


Stephen: Anytime.

Exactly. People have destroyed so many sites, either because they were after what was inside, or just because they could.

Tomara: I hope you liked the video!

RaShelle: Isn't it? :D

You're very welcome!

Lisa: I agree. Less attention doesn't always mean it's less impressive!

You're welcome! Thanks for coming by The Eagle's Aerial Perspective. :)

Cindy: It is a long name. :P

Junebug: It intrigues me, too. :)

Stratoz: I will! If I ever get the chance to write about an "H" word, or history, or a city . . . Herculaneum will be the one. :)

Mosaics are so interesting. The way the little pieces all fit together to create something with such detail.