Automatically translated from Basque, translation may contain errors. More information here. Elhuyarren itzultzaile automatikoaren logoa

Before pompeii

  • Vesuvius, 3,800 years ago. The volcano exploded for the umpteenth time and the village of the Bronze Age of the hillside Afragola was covered by ashes, AD. As in 79 with Pompeii and Herculano.
Duela 3.800 urte, Vesuviok eztanda egin zuenean, Brontze aroko herrixka bateko biztanleek ihes egitean utzitako oinatzak.
Duela 3.800 urte, Vesuviok eztanda egin zuenean, Brontze aroko herrixka bateko biztanleek ihes egitean utzitako oinatzak.

The two eruptions were Plinian, which shed large quantities of gas, rocks and ashes, very powerful and which, in addition to destroying the peoples of the area, would affect for years the European climate. The 79 eruption was announced by the young Pliny, but the Avellino eruption, known as the one that occurred almost two millennia earlier, was not picked up by the witnesses. And yet, as happened in 79, the traces frozen in time saved in the ashes tell exactly what happened.

The remains found in the construction of the high-speed train in the surroundings of Afragola in 2005 and since then archaeologists have been able to determine the time of the year when the eruption occurred. Under the trees they have found traces of mature fruits and leaves, and in the same village, foods collected in the last harvest. So you know that the eruption took place in the early fall, probably in October.

The remains found in the construction of the high-speed train in the surroundings of Afragola in 2005 and since then archaeologists have been able to determine the time of the year when the eruption occurred.

The layers of materials deposited on the Vesuvius skirts indicate that the eruption began with a strong explosion and the materials were stacked in the northeast due to the wind. Later, by changing the direction of the wind, the volcanic matter headed towards Afragola, and in the final phase of the eruption the ash and water reached 25 kilometers from the volcano. This volcanic mud totally covered the village of the Bronze Age. The volcanic layer caused the replacement of the molecules from the vegetal remains, leaving perfect molds of material called cinerite.

However, the biggest difference with Pompeii is that Vesuvius caused thousands of deaths in 79. In the ashes the human and livestock footprints were marked, which means that the inhabitants of Afragola managed to escape unlike the Pompeyans. The Romans did not know that the Vesuvius was a volcano. The aphragms probably accompanied the wind direction at the time of the explosion, which gave them more time to escape. But maybe when I slept, I knew the mountain as fertile as the Romans did and I knew the dangers that came in when I woke up.


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