Cementing its position in history with one of the most fragile solids, Pompeii plays host to the town that was cremated alive. Under the nine feet of volcanic ash, Pompeii lay undisturbed for just about 1,700 years and its remnants remained exactly as they were when Mt. Vesuvius clouded the sky with its monumental explosion of ash, pumice, volcanic rock, and lava.
“You could hear women lamenting, children crying, men shouting. There were some so afraid of death that they prayed for death. Many raised their hands to the gods, and even more believed that there were no gods any longer and that this was one unending night for the world.” —Pliny the Younger, circa A.D. 97 to 109
At first, when the inhabitants saw the smoke coming from Vesuvius they were in shock, for they had never seen a volcano before (before the eruption, there wasn’t even a word for volcano in the Italian vocabulary). Once the ash started to settle down on their rooftops, however, that’s when panic struck and chaos ensued. Most people ran for the hills, gathering family treasures, loved ones, and even the house dog. Others tried to find refuge by fleeing to the beaches and ocean.
A cloud of gas and ash plunged down on the town; the hot breath of Vesuvius killed the fugitives in a fraction of a second. By studying bone fractures and the position of the remains, anthropologist Paolo Petrone and volcanologist Giuseppe Mastrolorenzo established beyond a doubt that the fugitives were wrapped in a 900-degree Fahrenheit cloud. They died instantly of thermal shock, not from slow suffocation as scientists long assumed.
Article by Jared Silvestri
Other Articles about the Amalfi Coast:
- FlorenceForFun says “When life gives you lemons, make Limoncello”
- The Blue Grotto in Capri: Why are you so blue?!
- Describe Someone You Met or Saw
Join FlorenceForFun in the Amalfi Coast
Take a step back in time. The Pompeii excavation is a window into life in 79AD. How did they live? What where their houses like? How civilazations behaved and what their daily routines were. The Amalfi Coast tour takes in the beautiful Island of Capri, the Amalfi Coast town of Positano, Pompeii and Vesuvius.
All the information about our Amalfi Tours can be found on the FlorenceForFun website by searching in the Trip Finder for ‘Amalfi Coast’ www.florenceforfun.com