posted on Aug, 25 2016 @ 06:18 AM
Visited Pompeii last year and was pretty amazed at the sheer size of the place and there's still tons to uncover yet. That said due to thieves and
artifact stealers, the place is actually rather dull as absolutely everything has been removed except for the walls and pillars so makes it very
difficult to know what building is what when touring. They even stole the lovely mosaics. However you can see why, due to the very narrow streets,
built for carts, so many couldn't escape. I also climbed Mt Vesuvius which was something I'd wanted to do for years and could see the blackened lava
flow heading down to the city and also at the side of Vesuvius is a valley covered in volcanic lava from an even earlier volcano where you can see how
the forest was decimated and now nothing grows.
A better place to visit is further along, the town of Herculaeneum which is far more complete and gives a great indication of how the landscape has
changed. This was actually a port town which is now miles inland and much lower than the current land around it, approximately 20m below current
ground level. The people there were instantly suffocated in the enormous heat of the pyroclastic surges (up to 500degrees) and many were trapped in
the port area and boat houses trying to escape to sea and those bodies have been left where they were found. Unfortunately excavations at Herculaneum
ceased for some time due to the discovery of Pompeii which was easier to excavate due to the fact that Pompeii wasn't as deeply buried. Excavations
resumed briefly but have been forced to cease again as each time they find something else they are having to move people out of the Naples suburbs and
re-house them. Its a very costly process and to be honest many of the Italians I speak to are really quite blase about the archaeological findings as
there are simply soooo many and more uncovered weekly.
Pompeii to date
Herculaneum Boat Houses
Herculaneum showing previous ground level
Whilst discovering the past is truly wonderful, the speed of deterioration is a major problem for archaeologists as whilst the ash & lava created a
"time capsule" exposure to 21st century elements and pollution is causing finds to disintergrate rapidly sometimes within just days of discovery. Its
a tricky choice of whether to leave things where they are or unearth them for historical purposes. Vandalism is also a problem. I was saddened to see
that in a complete bathhouse covered in beautiful mosaics, kids had covered the walls in graffiti and there was evidence of drug use cigarette butts
and bottles/cans everywhere. I noted that security was extremely lax in almost all the archaeological sites and it was clear that younger generations
had little or no respect for their heritage.