Human Remains in Pompeii: The Body Casts

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In 79AD, Vesuvius erupted, destroying the cities of Herculaneum and Pompeii. In Herculaneum, the inhabitants were incinerated when a single pyroclastic surge hit the town.

But in Pompeii, the eruption preserved as well as destroyed.

Archaeologists have discovered approximately 1150 bodies since excavations of the city began.

The unique set of circumstances created by the eruption has allowed archaeologists to bring one hundred of those bodies ‘back to life’ in the form of casts that preserve the body at the moment of death.

In the early hours of the following morning, the eruption reached its fatal, concluding stages. Three pyroclastic surges- a mix of hot gases and ashes from the collapsing eruption column- travelling at 100kph finally reached Pompeii. The first surge just skimmed the city walls but the final one overwhelmed the whole city, finishing off anyone still alive.

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