Posts Tagged With: Italy

LIVING UNDER THE VOLCANO

 

“But he knows most of all that
he’s living beneath the volcano,
Won’t be so many more days,
Isn’t much time and it’s
gathering darkness,
my friend…”

 

~ Jack Bruce / Pete Brown ~

 

000 living under the volcanoDigitally enhanced image created from an original photo taken of Vesuvius in Italy in the summer of 1996.


© 2016 nightpoet all rights reserved


Categories: Perspective, Photography, Poetry | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

THE ROAD

 
“The road never ends…only our vision does.”

 

~ Amit Reddy ~

 


000 the roadDigitally enhanced image created from an original analog photo of a Roman street taken in Pompeii in June 1996.


© 2016 nightpoet all rights reserved


Categories: Perspective, Photography, Poetry | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

WHITE BIRD

 

 

“In these matters the only certainty is that nothing is certain.”

~ Pliny the Elder ~

 

 

000 white birdPhoto taken in July 1996 in the Bay Of Naples.


********************************

© 2015 nightpoet all rights reserved


 

Categories: Perspective, Photography, Poetry | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

LINE, FORM AND BEAUTY

 

THE ABSENCE OF STATIC QUO

 

If, as many scientists, physicists and atheists believe, our universe is a creation that is the result of spontaneous, random chance and not due to the plan of some “divine” omniscient being, does not that make the beauty and the wonder of all that we see and experience around us even more incredible, mysterious and unbelievable? That which is planned can have no mystery, no spontaneity; it is laid out according to structure from which there is no deviation. That is not what life or the universe reveals to us. The universe is overflowing with mystery. In everything there is paradox, change and a ruthless energy filled with a random abandon. As I always say, when you delve deep enough into the physics, things are and they are not. What makes life magical and fills it with beauty and creativity is the total absence of  what I call “static quo,” that things are constant with little room for change. The ancients were very wise, for they saw early on that there are really only two truths in life and they expressed them in two simple concepts:  everything changes and these things too shall pass…

 

000 line, form and beautyPhoto of a seagull taken in the Bay of Naples off the coast of Ischia, Italy in 1996.


********************************

© 2014 nightpoet all rights reserved


Categories: Perspective, Photography, Poetry | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

AN ISCHIA MOMENT

A GREAT PLACE TO LIVE UNTIL…

 

When I was on the island of Ischia in 1996 I passed through a town called Saint Angelo and spotted this unique residence. What a great retirement house it would make, on the Bay of Naples, with a view towards the island of Capri on the horizon and Vesuvius on the mainland. Fifty years ago it would have been a wonderful place to live, but if the ocean levels keep rising due to global warming, fifty years from now it will be underwater. We certainly are not leaving a very nice world to our children and grandchildren…

AN ISCHIA MOMENT

Photo taken in Saint Angelo, Ischia, Italy in 1996.


********************************

© 2014 nightpoet all rights reserved


Categories: Perspective, Photography | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

AN ARCHAEOLOGICAL MOMENT – HERCULANEUM 1996

A MOSAIC FROM HERCULANEUM

One more small recollection from Herculaneum. This is a beautiful Roman mosaic depicting  Neptune and Amphitrite in the Casa di Nettuno e Anfitrite in Herculaneum. Considering the force with which Vesuvius erupted on August 24th 79 AD and the fact that the town was buried relatively quickly under some 20 meters of ash and lava, the condition of the objects and structures that were painstakingly excavated over the years is simply amazing. In modern times we bury time capsules to give future generations an idea of how we lived. On that one afternoon an entire town and quite a number of its inhabitants became a sealed time capsule, an amazingly preserved museum for their descendants to discover some 1700 years later.

I took this photo in 1996 and a copy of it hangs on the wall in my office in the Archaeological Bureau where I work. The brilliance of its colours and its pristine state of preservation never cease to amaze me. Even after working as an archaeologist for the last 28 years, and having had the privilege to work on mosaics that we have excavated, I can still feel the excitement I felt when I walked into the room in the Casa di Nettuno e Anfitrite and saw this mosaic for the first time. I had seen it before in books, but standing before it was a moment I shan’t soon forget…

AN ARCHAEOLOGICAL MOMENT – HERCULANEUM 1996

Photo taken in Herculaneum, Italy during a visit in 1996. Located in the Casa di Nettuno e Anfitrite, the mosaic is in an excellent state of preservation.

********************************

© 2014 nightpoet all rights reserved

Categories: Archaeology, Perspective, Photography | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

AN ARCHAEOLOGICAL MOMENT – HERCULANEUM 1996

A TOWN BENEATH A TOWN

The ancient town of Herculaneum was also destroyed in the eruption of Vesuvius on August 24th 79 AD. Today the modern town of Ercolano now lies over part of the site. The circumstances of Herculaneum’s burial were much different than those of Pompeii. A compact mass of tufaceous material about 15 to 18 meters deep completely covered the town. While making excavation very slow and difficult, it preserved the town and prevented subsequent tampering and looting. Due to unique conditions of the ground humidity the wooden frameworks of houses, door frames, furniture, the hull of a large boat, remnants of cloth, and even some food, in this case carbonized loaves of bread left in the ovens, were all well preserved. These circumstances have made Herculaneum a very special frozen moment in time. With the discovery of about 120 skeletons in the 1980’s on what was the original shoreline even the last moments of Herculaneum’s residents were preserved. The site is also a World Heritage Site.

AN ARCHAEOLOGICAL MOMENT – HERCULANUM 1996

Photo taken in Herculaneum, Italy during a visit in 1996. The modern town can be seen above the ruins with Vesuvius towering menacingly in the background

********************************

© 2014 nightpoet all rights reserved

Categories: Archaeology, Perspective, Photography | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

AN ARCHAEOLOGICAL MOMENT – VESUVIUS 1996

THE VIEW FROM VESUVIUS

In my previous post on this blog I talked about walking around the summit of Vesuvius before I ended up wandering around Pompeii. I said that the view from the crater rim across the Bay of Naples was incredible. When I look st this photo, taken from the summit, I don’t think that I was exaggerating. The island on the horizon in the center of the photo is Ischia. The green area, just a bit back from the coastline and slightly to the right of center is the Roman town of Herculanum, which was covered with ash and lava when the volcano erupted on the afternoon of August 24th 79 AD. Today it is no longer directly on the shoreline as it was in Roman times because the coast has changed over the centuries. Pompeii, not visible from this angle, would be to the left of the volcano in this photo and much further back from the shoreline. As one can see, the coastline along the Bay of Naples is heavily populated. Another eruption on the scale of the one in 79 AD would be devastating…

AN ARCHAEOLOGICAL MOMENT – VESUVIUS 1996

Photo taken from the crater of Mt. Vesuvius, Italy during a visit in 1996.

********************************

© 2014 nightpoet all rights reserved

Categories: Archaeology, Perspective, Photography | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

AN ARCHAEOLOGICAL MOMENT – MORTALITY

FACE TO FACE WITH OUR MORTALITY – THE GHOSTS OF POMPEII 

At noon on August 24, 79 AD, the day after the Roman holiday of Volcanalia, which was appropriately dedicated to the god of fire, the Mount Vesuvius volcano on the Bay of Naples in Italy erupted violently, spewing clouds of ash and noxious gases into the air for the next eighteen hours and sending rivers of lava streaming down its slopes. The ash rained down upon the surrounding countryside and covered everything, including the nearby cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum. The next morning the cone of the volcano collapsed and a river of ash and mud engulfed the two cities, burying them. There they remained, forgotten until they were found quite by accident when in 1738 construction began on Charles of Bourbon’s palace. Amazingly the cities were well preserved due to the rapidity of the catastrophe.

Those who were unable to flee met a horrible fate as they were covered in ash and choked on the noxious fumes. Buried for some 1700 years under about 9 meters (30 feet) of mud and ash, their bodies were slowly reduced to skeletons. When excavations began in the early 1800’s the victims  of the eruption began to be uncovered. As more and more human remains were discovered the excavators noticed that the skeletons were lying in hollow spaces of compacted ash. It didn’t take much imagination to see that these were like molds and when plaster was carefully poured into them the results were that images of the bodies were cast, down to the details of their clothes, hair and faces. The final agonizing moments of their deaths had been faithfully preserved. It is estimated that some 2000 of the 20,000 residents of Pompeii perished on that day. So far about 1150 bodies have been recovered. The casts that one sees on display today of Pompeii’s men, women, children and animals were all made around the mid 1800’s. Casts are no longer being made today because the process destroys the skeletal remains, which can provide much more information than just the casts, despite their amazing eerie detail. Those who perished on that fateful August day could not, in their wildest imaginations, have foreseen how their mortality, the last moments of their lives would serve to tell their stories almost 2000 years later…

AN ARCHAEOLOGICAL MOMENT - MORTALITY

Photo taken of a plaster cast of one of Pompeii’s citizens during a visit to the site in 1996.

********************************

© 2014 nightpoet all rights reserved

 

Categories: Archaeology, Perspective, Photography | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.