Saturday, 21 May 2022

Herculaneum beach

An ancient beach in Herculaneum was excavated for the first time in 40 years. Work at the Antica Spiaggia area began in January. It was already partially excavated in the 1980s. Dozens of skeletons were found, including the famed 'Ring Lady,' named for the rings on her fingers. Herculaneum was much closer to the crater of Mount Vesuvius than Pompeii, and was buried under 23 metres of material from the pyroclastic surges. Smithsonian Channel documentary ‘Mummies Alive: Hero of Herculaneum’ looks into the eruption in 79 AD.
The beach is now about four metres below current sea levels. Researchers uncovered the remains of almost 300 people who died from the intense heat while waiting for rescue.
Evidence has been found of high temperatures on the skeletons of those found in the arched vaults on the seashore, which is now 500 metres inland, as well as the existence of carbonised wood in the boathouses, which became their tombs. Dubbed the ‘Herculaneum 300’, their remains were found just four miles (6.43 km) from Mount Vesuvius. Historians have suggested the group was minutes away from being rescued by Pliny the Elder, commander of the local naval fleet. His nephew, Pliny the Younger, wrote two letters describing the eruption, both of which have great historical significance due to their accurate description of the eruption.