Herculaneum                        Location: 40.806° N, 14.348° E Herculaneum, located in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius,  was an ancient Roman town destroyed by volcanic  pyroclastic flows in 79 AD. Its ruins are located in the  commune of Ercolano, Campania, Italy. The catastrophic  eruption of Mt. Vesuvius occurred on the afternoon of 24  August 79 AD. Because Vesuvius had been dormant for  approximately 800 years, it was no longer even recognized  as a volcano. At around 1pm on 24 August, Vesuvius  erupts, sending a tall mushroom cloud of superheated rock  and gas over 20 kilometres into the sky. The prevailing  winds at the time blew toward the southeast, causing the  volcanic material to fall primarily on the city of Pompeii and  the surrounding area. Since Herculaneum lay to the west of  Vesuvius, it was only mildly affected by the first phase of the  eruption. While roofs in Pompeii collapsed under the weight  of falling debris, only a few centimetres of ash fell on  Herculaneum, causing little damage but nonetheless  prompting most inhabitants to flee. During the following night, the eruptive column which had risen into the stratosphere  collapsed onto Vesuvius and its flanks. The first pyroclastic surge, formed by a mixture of ash and hot gases, billowed  through the mostly evacuated town of Herculaneum at 160 km/h (100 mph). A succession of six flows and surges  buried the city's buildings, causing little damage and preserving structures, objects and victims almost intact.  Until the  1980s, very few bodies had been found in the houses of Herculaneum, leading to speculation that the majority of the  city’s inhabitants had escaped. However, in 1982, when excavations of the seafront began, the skeletons of more than  300 people were found in and around a series of vaulted chambers down by the seafront. The grisly discovery revealed  that many of the people of the city had fled to the harbour in hope of rescue. But whether on the beach, where some of  the bodies were found, or in the vaults they found no protection from the extreme heat of the pyroclastic surges, and  their bodies were stripped to the bone. After the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD, the town of Herculaneum was  buried under approximately 20 metres (50–60 feet) of ash. It lay hidden and largely intact until discoveries from wells  and underground tunnels became gradually more widely known, and notably following the Prince d'Elbeuf's  explorations in the early 1700s.  Excavations continued sporadically up to the present and today many streets and  buildings are visible, although over 75% of the town remains buried. Today, the Italian towns of Ercolano and Portici lie  on the approximate site of Herculaneum. (Wikipedia)    Google Earth Photo: Rolf Cosar Photo: Rolf Cosar Photo: Rolf Cosar Photo: Rolf Cosar Photo: Rolf Cosar Photo: Rolf Cosar Photo: Rolf Cosar Photo: Rolf Cosar Photo: Rolf Cosar Photo: Rolf Cosar Photo: Rolf Cosar Photo: Rolf Cosar Photo: Rolf Cosar Photo: Sascha Cosar Photo: Rolf Cosar Photo: Sascha Cosar Goole Earth Google Earth Photo: Sascha Cosar Photo: Rolf Cosar Photo: Rolf Cosar HOME Photo: Rolf Cosar Photo: Sascha Cosar Photo: Rolf Cosar click on pictures to enlarge Ercolano, 13.10.2015