The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #171928   Message #4159923
Posted By: Stilly River Sage
22-Dec-22 - 10:28 AM
Thread Name: Armchair Archaeologist (via Google Earth) pt 2
Subject: RE: Armchair Archaeologist (via Google Earth) pt 2
To Save a Ruin, Send in the Sheep
The archaeological park of Pompeii has found a low-tech way to prevent the site from being overrun by vegetation: hungry sheep.
In recent years, the vast archaeological park of Pompeii, a city buried alive by the eruption of Vesuvius in A.D. 79, has turned to high-tech options to maintain its excavated ruins. A surveillance drone makes a monthly flight over the site’s roughly 10,000 exhumed rooms. Artificial intelligence programs analyze aerial images for new cracks, fallen stones and other signs of erosion. But to prevent the third of the park that remains hidden under pumice and meters of earth from becoming overgrown with thorn bushes, wild hedges and trees, Pompeii has found a more appropriately ancient, and inexpensive, solution in hungry sheep.

Without the sheep “you’d have some kind of jungle that would invade the archaeological structures and the site,” said Gabriel Zuchtriegel, the park’s director. He said that he came up with the idea of bringing in the sheep after seeing them maintain the land on top of dikes in the North Sea, and said that the Pompeii sheep would chomp down invasive vegetation, destructive roots and wild terrains that could lead to the city’s reburial under landslides.