- from Pompeii
On August 24, A.D. 79, a festival was happening in Herculaneum, a town near Pompeii.
People were celebrating the late Emperor Augustus. It would have been his birthday, but he’d been dead for 65 years. Jugglers, musicians, and acrobats were playing for big audiences. Athletic events were on in the sports arena. Plays were being rehearsed for the evening shows. Snack bars were selling walnuts, almonds, figs, dates, and hot foods to big crowds.
As in Pompeii, a sudden loud sound pierced the air. Sensing danger, many began running to the beach. But there they were trapped. They found themselves caught between the ocean and the superhot river of pumice, ash, rocks, and gases that eventually destroyed their town.
The volcanic outpouring sealed everything in. It left people and things just as they were when disaster struck. As a result, we have a perfect time capsule of life in Herculaneum over 1,900 years ago.