- from Pompeii
On August 24, A.D. 79, there was a festival in Herculaneum. That was a town near Pompeii.
People were celebrating the late Emperor Augustus. It would have been his birthday, except that he’d been dead for 65 years. People were watching jugglers, musicians, and acrobats. Athletes were competing in the sports arena. Plays were being rehearsed for the evening shows. And crowds were buying walnuts, almonds, figs, dates, and hot foods at the snack bars.
Just as in Pompeii, a sudden roar got everyone’s attention. Many people sensed danger—or worse. They began running to the beach. But then they were trapped. They were caught between the ocean and the superhot river of pumice, ash, rocks, and gases that would soon destroy their town.
The volcanic outpouring sealed everything. It caught a perfect time capsule of life in Herculaneum more than 1,900 years ago.