August 24, 79 AD: Pompeii and Herculaneum Destroyed in Mount Vesuvius Eruption
On this day in the year 79 AD, over 16,000 people died from the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in the Gulf of Naples, Italy. The volcano spewed molten rock and pulverized pumice at 1.5 million tons per second, releasing a 100,000 times the thermal energy released by the Hiroshima bombing.
As a result, the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum and their citizens were nearly instantly buried beneath a thick layer of volcanic material.
Join geo-archaeologists in Secrets of the Dead’s “Herculaneum Uncovered” as they examine how the eruption devastated Herculaneum in a very different manner than to Pompeii.
Photo: Mount Versuvius, Library of Congress, 1872.