Herculaneum and Pompeii Mysteries Beneath the Rubble By: Steven Singer, Steven DiCarlo, Kyle Finnican, and Reynolds Chin
Herculaneum and Pompeii I. Plinian Eruptions Overview II. Mount Vesuvius - Our Recreation - Herculaneum - Pompeii
Plinian Eruptions - Plinian eruptions are also known as Vesuvian eruptions - Marked by eruption of gas and volcanic ash going high into the stratosphere - Other well known Plinian Eruptions are Mt. Saint Helens in 1980, and the most recent in the eruption of Sarychev Peak located in Russia in June, 2009 - The gas and ash must enter the stratosphere at over 11km in order to be considered a Plinian • Virtual Volcano : Discovery Channel
Mt. Vesuvius • Dormant for 800 years before the eruption on August 27, 79 AD • Ash and volcanic stone spewed into the stratosphere • Winds blew southeast causing volcanic materials to fall on Pompeii, collapsing roofs, compared to only a few centimeters of ash in Herculaneum • 12 hours later, pyroclastic flow raced down Vesuvius at 100 mph toward Herculaneum • Between the 3 million inhabitants of Pompeii and Herculaneum, it is estimated that 15 to 25 thousand people died
Perspective of How Big Eruption Was Mt. Vesuvius Eruption: 7.5 miles high Mount Everest: 5.5 Miles The eruption went into the air at 7 miles in the air, compared to the 5.5 miles that Mount Everest is. Empire State Building: .375 miles high
Vesuvius Eruption: Our Recreation We began the recreation process by building the volcano and the towns to show Pompeii and Herculaneum.
Vesuvius Eruption: The Pyroclastic Flow We then proceeded to explode the volcano and you can see the emmense lava flow that happened 2000 years ago.
Vesuvius: Post Eruption As you can see for both towns that they did not stand a chance against this ginormous volcano... just like in 79AD.
Herculaneum: Background Information • Small and wealthy town in ancient Rome14°20′51″E • Samnite tribe founded city • Greeks took control and named the town Herculaneum in the late 6th century (named after Hercules) • Used the town as a trading post because of the location to the Gulf of Naples • In 4th century BC, Samnites reclaimed town until 89 BC when it came under Roman control
The Destruction of Herculaneum - Eruption started at 1 pm at August 24, 79 AD - Both Herculaneum and Pompeii recieved an initial couple centimeters of ash - the pyroclastic flow that hit Herculaneum was 750 degrees farenheit and made up of ash, gas, and rock -saved of rocks of ash because of wind
Herculaneum: The Excavations - First excavation of Herculaneum was in 1738 by Joaquin de Alcubierre, engineer and captian in Spanish Army - Alcubierre gave up on Herculaneum to go to another site in Italy; Pompeii - Pompeii was significantly easier to excavate, it only had 4 meters of ash, Herculaneum had 20 meters of pyroclastic material - In 1981, Dr. Giuseppe Maggin came upon Herculaneum when digging to make a drainage pipe
Herculaneum: The Excavations (cont.) - Dr. Maggin hired Sara Bisel, an anthropolgist, to excavate the area - She found 55 bodies, 30 men, 13 women, and 12 children - Because of the lack of bodies, she presumed the majority of the population fled before the flow of pyroclastic material arrived - She then found 250 bodies huddled together near 12 boathouses - The people were about to be rescued when they were hit by the flow
Pompeii Background info • Pompeii is located in western Italy, 7 miles from Mt. Vesuvius, in a region called Campania • People in city were clueless about how much destruction Mt. Vesuvius could do • Earthquake in 62 AD (7.5 on Richter scale) was only recent natural disaster in Pompeii before eruption • Minor tremors led up to erpution
Eruption occured on August 24, AD 79 Lava flowed down Vesuvius, destroying everything in its path Mephitic fumes caused deliriousness, then suffocation Wind was blowing in Pompeii's direction, increasing the damag The Destruction of Pompeii
Some people chose to run away with their valuables, others chose to wait until streets were less crowded, and others locked themselves in their houses Everybody who did not run away was killed The Destruction of Pompeii (cont.)
·Exploration started in 1748 ·Ash was actually very light and not compact ·Excavation started to get pieces of art for Bourbon King Charles III The Excavation of Pompeii
Pompeii: Excavations (cont.) ·As many as 1500 excavators at a time, leading to many buildings being uncovered ·By 1860 most of western sector was excavated ·When French controlled Naples, excavation was more organized, going form west to east
Extra info on pompeii • Pompeii became a Roman town in 80 BC • It had many very prosperous ports • First rediscovered in 1748 • Off the Gulf of Naples
Sources • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herculaneum • http://www.romanherculaneum.com (go to new site) • http://www.roman-empire.net/articles/article-011.html • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plinian_eruption • http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/images/pglossary/PlinianEruption.php • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pompeii • http://www.mnsu.edu/emuseum/archaeology/sites/europe/pompeii.html • http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ancient/romans/pompeii_rediscovery_01.shtml