This is Herculaneum. Before being covered in ash and lava, it was a resort town, of about 5000 people. Smaller than Pompeii and only a small amount has been excavated. This site you could easily visit in 2-3 hours. (For that and what I mention below, some people prefer visiting here to Pompeii.)

As you enter the ruins, you cross a bridge with this view.

That really sets the tone. (For those not familiar with Herculaneum, people were sheltering in these boat houses awaiting rescue when the volcano erupted, killing them instantly from the heat.)

Because Herculaneum was buried under ash rather than pummeled by an angry volcano, many of the buildings are more intact. It takes no imagination at all to see them as houses were people lived. It’s a sad little town.

The area that’s been excavated is residential, mostly houses. The public buildings are still under the ground.

Archaeologically speaking, organic (wood, fabric, food) matter decarys quickly and, except in special conditions, isn’t usually found on old sites. However at Herculaneum, a lot of organic matter was carbonised and so survives. This house has a wooden screen (you can see it in the background here but closer up in the video, which also shows the bed).

Casa del Tramezzo di Legno
(House of the Wooden Partition)

A taberna. At the back you can see the jars that are under the counter.

The public baths. On the right, you can see the shelves for storing clothes.

Casa del Bel Cortile (House of the Beautiful Courtyard). See the stairs towards the back?

Remember what these are?

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