And Herculaneum, of course!

For some crazy reason only about a quarter of the people who pour into Pompeii every day seem to also check out Herculaneum, so that left us exploring the site practically alone at opening hour. We got there bright and early in the morning and broke up into groups to explore this amazing city.

It’s easy to forget exactly how deep this city actually is and exactly how much ash, pumice and mud covered this place (20-25 meters!). On the top (pic above) you see the trees on the modern ground level. On the left is the city of Herculaneum excavated from the hardened deposits. And on the right you can see the deep stratigraphy of those volcanic deposits. Unbelievable!

Just like Pompeii the streets, sidewalks, shops and houses were frozen in a moment in August (probably) of AD 79.

Complete with painted columns, frescoes, second floors and marble panels, Herculaneum does not disappoint any Classics student.

Some houses even had their iron window grates preserved!

And wooden partitions that could open or close a space! Prem, Kristina and Massimo provide scale in this house.

We can never get enough of the bars (thermopolia in Latin) even though there are dozens! They just bring to life a city street like nothing else. The students jumped in to recreate a bar scene, serving dorm mice and other snacks to the customers 😉

It’s fairly common to find Garett reading a Latin inscription somewhere. He’s looking a little perplexed here…or is that his relaxed pose?!

Alex and Massimo contemplate the monument of Marcus Nonnius Balbus, who was praetor and proconsul of Crete and Cyrene (a Roman province). He was also Tribune of the Plebs in 32 BC. He was a major benefactor of Herculaneum and had a great seaside spot for his memorial altar and statue.

Thanks for a great visit Herculaneum!

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