Mount Vesuvius and Pompeii

Several years ago, I had the opportunity to visit Pompeii and Vesuvius as part of a tour of the volcanoes of the Tyrrhenian Sea (here). Looking back through these photos, I am still amazed at the level of destruction of the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum, and yet the immense force of destruction also provided a spectacular level of preservation of Roman life and culture.
This is an old glass photograph that was given to me by a good friend of post-1906 eruption stratocone in the main crater. The last major eruptions were in 1906 and 1944.
Pompeii was buried several meters of pumice before the eruptive column collapsed into a pyroclastic flow. The courtyard on the right was filled from floor to ceiling. The vases on the left are nearly a meter across.
Pliny the younger described the eruptive column and umbrella cloud as the shape of an Italian Stone pine (upper left). From the top of Vesuvius (upper right), the proximity of the stratocone to the populated areas is made painfully clear. We must not forget that this is still an active volcano. As the pyroclastic flows came down the southern flanks it carved out beautiful channels of superheated ash and lapilli (middle right).
Some variably preserved Roman art at Herculaneum and Pompeii.
Left: Casts of human figures that were caught in the pyroclastic cloud while fleeing from the city.
Center: Ruts along the stone streets made by the chariots and wagons.
Right: Claudio Scarpati who acted as our guide through the sites.
Herculaneum beneath the modern city all in the shadow of Vesuvius.
Juptier’s Temple with Vesuvius in the background.

 


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