Tuesday, 16 February 2010

E is for...

Ercolano

Also known as Herculaneum, but that doesn't start with an E! Ercolano (which is the Italian name) is situated below Naples in the south of Italy. And when I say below, I mean below!

As you may know, the Vesuvius erupted in 79aD, covering all of Pompeï in toxic ash, killing most people who lived there. But not only Pompeï was affected, other communities in the area were hit as well. Ercolano was a thriving sea-side resort for the Romans and when Vesuvius erupted it wasn't covered in ash like Pompeï, but in lava. And the town disappeared underneath a thick layer of it.

Forward several centuries and a gentleman in Naples wants a well. He starts digging and digging and hits a hole. A big hole and he decides to investigate. And soon he and others start realising there's a whole other town beneath their town! One little problem though: where Pompeï was covered by nature, Ercolano was covered by Naples and its outskirts!

They did uncover part of the old town of Ercolano, finding a lot of fire damage (hot lava will do that), but also small treasures like beautiful art. However, the majority of the town is still covered by the new town up above and unless they are all willing to move away, it will probably remain like that! As you can see in the photo: the old town is in front and the new town is in the back.

For more E-words from around the world, please check out ABC Wednesday and join in the fun!

21 comments:

  1. What a fascinating post for the E day! The photo is terrific, but I particularly love all the history you have included! Hope you have a great week -- or what's left of it!

    Sylvia

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  2. Nice photo and interesting post.

    On behalf of ABC Wed. thanks for participating.

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  3. That is fascinating. I like the juxtaposition between the old and the new.

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  4. Fascinating and so informative. I didn't realize that there is a city under Naples. What a find. Great picture and choice for the letter E.

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  5. Amazing that no one poked through before that.

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  6. I hadn't heard that. Fascinating!! Thank you!

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  7. Wonderful information, - Pompeii is so famous, and here is this other little buried town which gets no publicity at all. I wonder if it will ever be completely uncovered and what treasures there are still hidden away.

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  8. I love your blog's new look! I've missed a lot in the past week, haven't I?

    I've never heard of Ercolano before. What great choice for the letter E!

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  9. That is really interesting. I love your history lessons. Thank you.

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  10. A very nice ogf getting an E and providing interesting history at the same time! Thank you for sharing.

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  11. They may have to destroy the new to get to the old! Unimaginable.

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  12. I never heard of Ercolano, though of course I'd heard of Pompeii. it's interesting how selective the history narrative can be.

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  13. How interesting! Here are the silent witnesses of almost two thousand years ago! Very great, post and well written!

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  14. Oooh, I want to go there! I learned about Pompeii and Herculaneum at school and was fascinated. Now Son No. 2 has an Italian girlfriend, I am learning Italian and we are planning a trip sometime. But ... soltanto un po' di italiano - I only speak a little Italian. So I hope the people there will be able to speak English!

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  15. interesting. So this is also one of the places hit by vesuvius. no wonder it is of that colour.

    Nice picture though, thanks for sharing! :D and for that informative piece of history.

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  16. What a great post behind that picture!!

    e is for...

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  17. That is quite a story, I did not know it. I live in Washington state and experienced the ash of Mount. Saint Helens Erupting about 30 years ago.

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  18. I'd heard of it but never realised where it was, and I've been to Naples, what sort of tourist am I. Although I did manage to find Pompeii,which was so amazing that I went twice.

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  19. My goodness - and all I did was an egg : ) Thanks for visiting, come back often.

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  20. I love reading your blog!!!!!

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  21. I remember walking around Etna while it was errupting. The ash stuck to everything. Then it rained.

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Any weighty (and not so weighty) comments are welcome!