The Skeletons of Herculaneum

Skeleton Found in Herculaneum

 

 

Herculaneum was a prosperous resort town inhabited in summer by well-to-do Romans and their servants, in addition to the year-round resident.

When the Vesuiuv erupted in 79 A.D. they were all there for the season: aristocrats and slaves, young and old.

They fled the volcano’s eruption at the very last minute and were caugh on the beach by the flow of volcanic material.

Since few skeletons had ever been found in the town itself, historians long believed that the population had escaped the desctruction of the city.

It was a great surprise when the skeletons were accindentally found at the beach front of the adjacent chambers in the spring of 1982.

These skeletons are in good to excellent condition because they had remained in an environment of unchanging temperature and humidity, buried under 20 meters of volcanic material for some 1900 years.

The skeletons of Herculaneum are of utmost importance to anthropologist and historians, because they constitute a unique population: Romans of the time generally cremated their dead.

Herculaneum_Bootshaeuser
A boathouse on the ancient seafront of Herculaneum, Italy, which was buried by the eruption of Vesuvius.

Scavi_di_Ercolano_-_Vittime_dell'eruzione

Published by Emiliano's Archaeological Tours

My name is Emiliano Tufano, I am an archaeologist and tour guide. I run an organization providing archeaological and cultural tours in Campania. When I was ten years old I found a piece of painted pottery on a small piece of land belonging to my family, which is located nearby the ancient Greek city of Paestum. For the whole of that day I kept this piece of history in my hands. I remember that it was decorated with a black figured scene of a Satyr driving a biga. The feeling I had when realized it was a genuine antique object was very strong, and I started asking myself many questions about the people who occupied that area across the centuries and, particularly, about the man who made such a beautiful piece of work. Since then I started collecting all sorts of pots and stones that I found while I wandered through the countryside. I used to divide my finds simply on the basis of their shape and color. They were the first steps of me becoming an archaeologist. At school, history was my favorite subject; therefore my decision of which degree course to choose was an easy one, Archaeology. Today, archaeology is my profession and my passion. Throughout the years I developed skills in fieldwork and academic research. I participated as a field director in several excavation projects of fundamental importance across Italy and I was engaged in significant academic research projects in Sicily, Tunisia and Libya. I now fulfill my ambition with a PhD project about the Sicilian prehistory. However, my interests go beyond just the history. I have a strong creative side and I love photography, and I write articles for a newspaper in my local area, play football and enjoy diving. I enjoy traveling and have been to many different countries, where I always make particular efforts to learn as much of the local language and culture as possible. In 2010 I became qualified to work as a tourist guide of the Campania Region, and today I offer guided tours in Italian, English and Spanish. I live my job with passion and professionalism. With me you can visit the wonders of Campania: the Vesuvian archaeological sites of Pompeii, Herculaneum and other beautiful sites, such as the historic centers of Naples, Caserta and Salerno, the Amalfi Coast and Sorrento Coast, all the major churches and museums. Through exclusive and tailor-made tours, according to your requirements, you will receive quality service and cultural enrichment.

One thought on “The Skeletons of Herculaneum

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 )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google 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 )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: