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Smiling H1 - 1920 x 116
Smiling H1 - 1920 x 116
Marymount - International School Rome

Italy unearths ancient Roman beach at Herculaneum

Visitors can walk along beach as it was in ancient Roman times.

Herculaneum, the ancient Roman city buried by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD, has opened its once hidden beach to visitors after major conservation works.

The newly-excavated beach was inaugurated on Wednesday by Italian culture minister Gennaro Sangiuliano who said authorities were committed to "restoring splendour" to the site.

The works, which began in 2021, saw the original levels of the beach restored and sand brought back, allowing visitors to stroll on the ancient strand as it was before that fateful day in 79 AD.

Hailing it as "an extraordinary and unique place", the director fo the Herculaneum archaeological park Francesco Sirano said that steps have been taken to reduce the risk of flooding and instability at the beach.

During a dig along the ancient shoreline in the early 1980s, archaeologists discovered dozens of skeletons, including the famed 'Ring Lady', named for the rings on her fingers.

Eventually they would uncover the remains of almost 300 people who died from the intense heat while waiting for rescue from the sea.

Excavations at Herculaneum - a smaller, more affluent city compared to nearby Pompeii - also uncovered a series of boat houses in which the last inhabitants perished.

The reopening of the beach is the result of the Herculaneum Conservation Project (HCP), a public-private initiative in collaboration with the Packard Humanities Institute to protect, enhance and manage the archaeological site and its relationship to the surrounding area.

For full details about the project (in Italian) see the culture ministry website.

Photo credit: Emanuele Antonio Minerva, courtesy Ministero della Cultura.

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Marymount - International School Rome
Marymount - International School Rome
Marymount - International School Rome
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Castelli H3 - 320 x 480
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