Submitted by Sammy Smith (email@example.com)
Volcanoes can be violently destructive. On the other hand, when all that fresh lava and ash breaks down, it makes some mighty fine soils for growing plants.
Volcanoes do destroy human houses and settlements. However, they can also preserve them by sealing them under ash, lava, and other eruptive materials.
One of the ways archaeology contributes to modern economies is through tourism. Mount Vesuvius erupted in AD 79, and the eastern Bay of Naples, Italy, now has several archaeological sites destroyed by the eruption that daily host floods of tourists from around the world.
Here are a few photographs from Herculaneum, a sea-edge port town that was covered by up to 60 feet of mud and ash, which sealed several stories of the town’s buildings. More buildings and streets extend beneath the modern city and have never been excavated.