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Ancient beach destroyed by Mount Vesuvius eruption in 79AD reopens after restoration

<i>Marco Cantile/LightRocket/Getty Images via CNN Newsource</i><br/>A view of the ancient beach
Marco Cantile/LightRocket/Getty Images via CNN Newsource
A view of the ancient beach

By Sharon Braithwaite, CNN

(CNN) — An ancient beach that was destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius nearly 2,000 years ago has reopened to the public after restoration works.

The beach at the Herculaneum archaeological park is thought to be the site where more than 300 men tried in vain to save themselves from the natural disaster in 79AD while awaiting rescue by a civil protection force directed by the admiral and illustrious Roman scholar Pliny the Elder.

It reopened to the public Wednesday following years of archaeological excavations and restoration works, during which human remains and other evidence of the eruption were discovered.

“It was not only a restoration work but also a great research work because we know that re-presenting a site, in an open-air archaeological place, also means being able to delve into scientific aspects: we carried out excavations and found remains and the passage of pyroclastic flows that hit the city in 79AD with materials of all kinds,” the director of the Herculaneum archaeological park Francesco Sirano said.

The most important discovery at Herculaneum was that of the “last fugitive” which occurred in 2021: a skeleton of a man of around 40 years of age who was probably trying to escape towards the sea and who had with him a bag containing his most precious objects.

“Herculaneum, Pompeii, Oplontis: we are working on many projects”, the Italian Minister of Culture Gennaro Sangiuliano said Wednesday.

“In the budget law we have refinanced the excavations and there are construction sites that are active like never before and are revealing new treasures, which fuel the activity of scholars.”

“We believe in all of this: in creating, connecting, strengthening this area which UNESCO has also recognized as of great value and which is one of the most important archaeological areas in the world. Because we are convinced that this will represent a opportunity for socio-economic development,” he added.

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