Curious holes in Herculaneum, Italy
The picture above was taken at the ruined town of Herculaneum, Italy, the perhaps lesser known but better preserved, sister of Pompeii. I am endlessly fascinated by the Roman way of life and you can often find me reading about it or watching a documentary on it, so it was a huge joy to finally visit the excavations at Pompeii and Herculaneum back in 2011.
What do you think the picture depicts? My first though was a public lavatory but no, it is actually an ancient kitchen! The holes contain terracotta cooking pots and this set up would likely have been a take-away food vendor in a busy street where passing Romans could pick up a quick meal to go.
Herculaneum is much better preserved as Pompeii was devastated by the pyroclastic flow and ash from the eruption of Vesuvius, whereas Herculaneum also suffered at the hands of a huge mud slide meaning that the town was entirely sealed over and remained largely in tact due to a lack of air and moisture. The heat preserved wooden beds and doors and even food, and as Herculaneum was in fact a wealthier town than Pompeii, with many fine houses lavished in coloured marble and beautiful painted frescos, there is much more to see and a better understanding of everyday life can be gained. Although the brothel in Pompeii is not to be missed!
More on Italy here.