New excavation will begin in the foothills of the volcano Tambora in Indonesia, which killed up 90 thousand people when it last erupted. The preserved finds now can allow insight into the life of a forgotten kingdom. It happened in 1815 and it was the most destructive eruption of all time. Not only three villages destroyed totally but because of the eruption extreme events took an unexpected turn in the wheather changes also. When the volcano has been activated, it left behind a 11 km wide and a 1,5 km deep crater, where about 400 million tons of sulfur gas escaped and spurt out to the sky. Because of this there was a year without Summer in Europe and in the USA as well.
Eight years ago, Haraldur Sigurdsson (from the University of Rhode Island) searched the area with radar. He found complete a house under the ground, which is completely burned but its forms remained in good condition, so he could easily distinguish between the beams and the bamboo flooring. Inside of the house found Chinese porcelains, iron tools and copper pots. In addition there were skeletons of two victims, on of them in the kitchen and the other in the veranda. Similarly Pompeii the inhabitants of these villages remained in a position when they were when the volcano ashes covered them. In 2008 found a skeleton of a man in sitting position who wore an ornamental sword and a copper tobacco case on his waist, there were rings adorned with precious stones on his hands and he wore a necklace as well. Because of the large number of jewelry ascertainable that wealthy families lived there or elit families who made great wealth from the trade. The people who lived around the volcano Tambora became famous for their horses, honey and the sandalwood. Their design and decoration is a clear resemblance to the Cambodian and Vietnamese cultures. The researchers now want to know more about the life of kings who ruled over these tens of people and in this year they have good chance to continuing the excavations.
The volcano ashes is big help for the researchers. Because of it is so massive the thousands of years of ancient buildings also. Especially this explains why they are still in relatively good conditions like the Colosseum or the Pantheon in Rome. The Romans more than two thousand years ago began the production of concrete. Their concrete was very different from the today concrete. It was much weaker. Still, the Pantheon or the Colosseum several centuries was able to survive without any conservation measures. Geographers, archaeologists and engineers examined and tested the buildings and tried to find out, what is the secret of the ancient buildings. The most important element of ancient concrete was the volcanic ash. The procedure at the time of Augustus very spread out, when the first Roman emperor ordered the restoration of buildings of the Eternal City. The workers from the volcano Albani, about 20 kilometers south of Rome carried the ashes.
Written by Ilona Kaszanyi