Brain boiling, skull explosion, tissue vitrification, how terrible the moment the volcano destroys the city
You must have heard of the”Pompeii ancient city destroyed by a volcano, but today’s story is not a well-known story , It happened in another ancient Roman city Herculaneum.
The two cities of Herculaneum and Pompeii were destroyed in the same volcanic eruption, that is, the Mount Vesuvius erupted. The two cities experienced the same end, but Herculaneum was little known.
The ancient city of Pompeii is covered by 6 meters of volcanic ash and debris, which retains a relatively complete original appearance of the city. The destruction of Herculaneum was even more shocking. The volcanic ash that buried the entire city reached 20 meters thick. Archaeologists found that it was more mysterious than Pompeii.
In the 18th century, an Italian farmer accidentally discovered a wall while digging a well, and people realized that there was a whole Herculaneum hidden under their feet. Ancient city.
Now, with the efforts of archaeologists, the excavation of the ancient city has yielded a lot of results. We can roughly restore what the city experienced during the short time of the volcanic eruption. documentary”Secret of Herculaneum Engulfed by a Volcano” tells this story.
It happened in 79 AD, when Mount Vesuvius erupted, spewing large amounts of gas and debris into the air, reaching a height of 34 kilometers. In the first 12 hours, due to the wind direction, the eruption was blown towards Pompeii, southeast of the volcano.
After that, the ash column of the volcano collapsed, and a surge of a large amount of volcanic ash and hot gas struck Herculaneum at night. The residents who thought they had escaped flee in panic, many were Buried under these eruptions.
First clarify the concept. A volcanic eruption will eject a variety of materials, such as volcanic boulders with larger particles and volcanic ash with smaller particles, which are extremely destructive with high-temperature gas. The large pyroclastic flow can reach 700 kilometers per hour.
The debris flow that struck Herculaneum for the first time reached a speed of 160 kilometers per hour, which was not fast, so the appearance of the city remained basically intact.
Even so, when the residents of the city see the danger coming, there is not much time to escape, let alone in the middle of the night. During this extinction disaster, a total of 6 volcanic debris flows poured in, burying the entire city strictly.
After 2000, archaeologists dug into the rooms in the ancient city of Herculaneum and found that the shape of all the wooden furniture remained intact, but the material changed a lot-they were all carbonized.
Everyone who has made carbon knows that carbonization requires high temperature and isolation of oxygen, and cities covered by pyroclasts meet these two conditions.
Scientists found the same kind of wood produced locally and used high temperature and oxygen-free conditions to simulate the carbonization process after being buried by pyroclastic debris. Each experiment will raise 50 degrees Celsius until the sample is processed Later, under the microscope, it showed the same characteristics as the unearthed carbonized furniture.
The results of the experiment show that the temperature of these furniture carbonization is as high as 500 degrees Celsius. For comparison, give another set of data. The temperature of the lighter flame is between 300-500 degrees, the temperature of charcoal grilling is about 250-340 degrees, and the fierce frying is between 200-330 degrees according to different oil temperatures. between.
Under these conditions, many objects in Herculaneum were carbonized and were accidentally preserved. In addition to the large pieces of furniture door panels, some papyrus documents have been preserved by carbonization, becoming precious first-hand materials for archaeological research.
There are also some very interesting findings, such as carbonized figs, which can help researchers determine the specific time of the disaster, and the carbonized bread just out of the oven, which can let us know Roman’s diet.
The objects were left behind, but the urban residents at that time were miserable. A 500-degree pyroclastic flow is far more terrifying than panning in hell.
Archaeologists discovered Ling in an arched cave facing the sea. The horrifying scene of people, more than 300 bones are buried here, they still maintain the posture of the moment of death.
Some women hold their children, some little boys have their puppies in their arms, and some families fled and died in Huangquan.
According to the speculation of archaeologists, it is only 50 meters from the seaside and is a small pier. These arched cave dwellings are actually places where ships are usually waiting, but these people do not It’s not waiting for the ships to come to rescue, just simply avoiding.
The most likely reason is that they actually avoided the earthquake before the eruption, because according to the record, Mount Vesuvius Activities often cause no small earthquakes. They may not know what a volcanic eruption is, let alone how to escape.
The following pyroclastic flow killed them. However, when the forensic doctor examined the bones, they found something more shocking.
Forensic doctors have discovered some strange phenomena in the skulls of some victims. These skulls have been fragmented, and the fractured section is unconventional and does not appear to be damaged by external forces. Caused.
So he guessed that the fragmentation of the skull was caused by internal forces, that is, the skull exploded. The reason for the explosion is also very simple. The high temperature makes their brains boil, and the pressure in the cranial cavity rises sharply until it explodes.
In addition, the forensic doctor also found that the surface of these bones was covered with a strange red residue, which contained iron and iron oxide, which are traces of blood left after the muscles evaporate.
Although the description is terrifying, in fact, these victims may be roasted by the heat before feeling the pain.
Those who fleeing for their lives are finally killed. Of course, those who stay in the room cannot escape the fate of death. The archaeologist found a strange body in a hidden room.
The corpse was lying on the bed, dead without a trace. Most of the bones of the corpse have been carbonized, and the human character can barely be seen. The forensic doctor found some reflective substances when cleaning up and taking pictures.
Collecting them, you can see that it is a dark glass-like substance. After laboratory testing, the forensic doctor believes that it is a highly condensed fatty acid from the dead. Brain tissue.
This glassy substance has never been discovered before. We don’t know how to replicate this change.
Why didn’t this man in bed escape? Researchers think he may be ordered to stay here, and his job may be to guard the house.
The moment of destruction not only freezes the suffering of the victims, but also reflects many social phenomena. The archaeologists carefully checked the objects surrounding these bones, many of which were the belongings they carried with them when they fled for their lives.
Some people not only wear a lot of jewelry, but also carry gold and silver treasures. They are obviously rich and powerful citizens in the city. On the contrary, there are a large number of penniless victims. However, their status is likely to be poor or slave.
Herculaneum, with a population of 4,000, is not as prosperous as Pompeii, but it was also a very rich city at that time. It was a place for many nobles to relax and vacation. There are many luxurious villas in the city.
The nobleman has hundreds of slaves to serve him, and there is a clear distinction between rich and poor. But in the face of disasters, everyone is equal, slaves and slave owners, old people and children, men and women, all turned into bones.
Then has anyone escaped? Obviously we can’t dig out all the bones and count them enough for 4000 people. One feasible method is to find traces of survivors in surrounding cities.
In ancient Rome, every city had some unique surnames. If you find a surname that does not belong to the local area in a city, it means there are immigrants It just so happens that the Romans like to engrave their names in conspicuous places in the house.
The archaeologist found a stone slab with a list of residents in the temple of Herculaneum. These names appeared in two places one after another, and he can basically be determined as a survivor of the disaster.
Of course, the results are as expected. Archaeologists have discovered an event in Naples. The person who appeared on the list of residents of Herculaneum was not surprisingly one of the survivors.
In addition, in Naples A marble inscription describes a place called”The Supreme Regency of the Herculaneum”, which also shows that a large number of Herculaneum survivors started in Naples after the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. new life.
There are also historians who think Many other survivors went to the small town of Kuma to the west. The reason is that according to records, Kuma, which was still very desolate in AD 79, developed rapidly after 81 AD. The Roman Emperor Titus also built squares, avenues, and roads here. Water diversion canal and other projects.
In the past, we only knew that the eruption of Mount Vesuvius destroyed two cities and left graves full of corpses.
And today, we found that a large number of survivors went to other places to start a new life, leaving behind two really shocking museums of life in the Roman Empire, and a moment to remind us that”the disaster is like people The horror story of ants.