Advertisements
//
you're reading...
Daily History

August 24 79 Eruption of Mount Vesuvius


On August 24th 79, Mount Vesuvius near Pompeii, Italy, began to erupt; within the next 25 hours, it wiped out the entire town.

Hundreds of years later, archaeologists excavated Pompeii and found everything and everyone that had been there that day perfectly preserved by the volcano’s ash.

Pompeii, about 90 miles south of Rome, was established in 600 B.C.E. in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius, which stood approximately 6,500 feet high. Apparently, no one was aware that Vesuvius was an active volcano, even after an earthquake in February of the year 63.

The preserved remains of Pompeii are not the only evidence of the disaster. Two authors who witnessed the eruption also recorded their observations. Pliny the Elder was across the bay from Vesuvius on the morning of August 24 when a large cloud was noticed emanating from the volcano.He dispatched several ships to the coastal town of Resina to investigate, but the ships could not land because they were pelted by flaming rocks from the volcano.

Pliny the Elder headed toward the town of Stabiae, where ash continued to fall through the night.By the following morning, the ash even obscured the sun from view. On August 25, Pliny the Elder died, apparently overtaken by sulphur gases released from the volcano.

Pliny the Younger, just 18 years old at the time, was also a witness to the eruption. He reported people climbing through waves of ash to escape. His account of the tons of pumice, rock and ash that Vesuvius pumped out over a 25-hour period, combined with the evidence left in Pompeii, indicates that about 2,000 residents of Pompeii survived the initial eruption of Vesuvius on August 24.

It was the following morning when another, more powerful eruption killed everyone in an instant. When rain mixed with the ash, it formed a sort of concrete, preserving the city. The town of Herculaneum was also buried on August 25, but by a mudslide set off by the eruption and accompanying tremors. It is estimated that 13,000 people in total died from the eruption.

It was not until 1595, during the construction of an aqueduct, that Pompeii was rediscovered. Unfortunately, what can be viewed today is only a small fraction of what was found then, as looting and pillaging over the years has greatly reduced the archaeological value of the site. Some scientists believe that there may still be other villages buried by Vesuvius that have yet to be discovered.

This Day In History
Advertisements

About Craig Hill

General Manager at Craig Hill Training Services * Get an Australian diploma by studying in your own country * Get an Australian diploma using your overseas study and work experience * Diplomas can be used for work or study in Australia and other countries. * For more information go to www.craighill.net

Discussion

4 thoughts on “August 24 79 Eruption of Mount Vesuvius

  1. Hi Craig!

    Nice article, just a tiny correction though: Pompei is about 150 miles south of Rome. 🙂

    Cheers!

    Posted by Antonio | August 24, 2012, 00:08
  2. How interesting it must have been to first unearth the city – how intriguing to contemplate what other remains are still to be found.

    Posted by Anne Bonney | August 24, 2012, 00:08
  3. This is one of the most fascinating stories I’ve ever heard. It’s good to get a refresher again. I have trouble imagining the terror that must have been running through the town…

    Posted by bucketdave | August 24, 2012, 11:19

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Pingback: August 24 79 Eruption of Mount Vesuvius | The Great Tribulation is Coming - August 24, 2012

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Advertisements

Get An Australian Diploma

Learn How To Sell Real Estate To Chinese Buyers

Learn How To Sell Real Estate To Chinese Buyers

writer@craighill.net

Join 1,678 other followers

China Daily Mail Latest Headlines On Twitter

Twitter – China Daily Mail

Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.

%d bloggers like this: