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eruption prognosis for The Last Hours of Herculaneum
6.200 before Christ volcanoes still were figured as "tents" vomiting fire. Obviously were such fire-mountainers then not perceived as exceptional threatening - would humans have built otherwise their own chimneys close to such outbreaking neighbourhood?

This at present oldest known picture of a volcano (excerpt) has survived until today in a shrine at the Anatolish stone age settlement Catal Hüyük.

There are existing pre-Christ notes on the fact that the "hutters" around the Vesuvius must have known about their explosive neighbourhood. According to the Roman author Silius Italicus (101 - 26 before Christ) there was an eruption of the Vesuvius in the year 217 before Christ, which Campanian provincial ashing was admired amongst others by the famous Hannibal reverentially. Also the volcanic status of the Vesuvius was well recognized by the outstanding geographer Greek Strabon (63/64 before Christ - 20 after Christ), but however like all his other contemporary he assumed any further activities of it would be complete impossible.

We know better by now and can especially in Germany get for another time marvelously closer to the cultural matter of the Plinian eruption of the Vesuvius on 24th of August 79 after Christ.

It is not right to say that volcanic eruptions inflame everything. Some surrounds will be always conserved historicly perfect. And the more pyroclastic the eruptive matter is the more safe is the catch.

On the other hand the longer something is locked the stronger the pressure boils up which is searching by degrees for an outbreak, which we now are able to prognose exactly. On Wednesday the 21st September 2005 at 7:00 h p.m will be the eruption of The Last Hours of Herculaneum.

The Pergamonmuseum Berlin shows in it's antiquity collection for the first time outside of Italy that volcanoes can not only haul diamonds to light, they are even better for depositing treasures than conventional safes.

Fascinating salvages of new researchs from archaeology, anthropology and volcanology around Herculaneum are promised and waiting for their inspection in the exhibition from 22nd of September 2005 until 1st of January 2006 in the antiquity collection of the Pergamonmuseum at the Museumsinsel Berlin. For more information: Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

Author: Karawahn
Translation: Kerstin Quitsch

wall-painting from Herculaneum
exact discovery site unknown: Guest meal with Hetäre. Soprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici di Napoli e Caserta, Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli.
Foto: Luciano Pedicini, Neapel

skeletons of three victims of the volcanic eruption from the bootshaus 5 of Herculaneum
(castings from silicone rubber).
Soprintendenza Archeologica di Pompei, Antiquario di Ercolano
Foto: Luciano Pedicini, Neapel

Herculaneum 2004
photography © Karawahn



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