Body cast of a victim of the Pompeii eruption

Body cast of a victim of the Pompeii eruption

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Credit: PASQUALE SORRENTINO/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Body cast of victim of Pompeii eruption. The Roman city of Pompeii, located in the Bay of Naples, Italy, was ruined and buried under thick layers of ash during an eruption of the volcano Vesuvius in 79 AD. Many of those buried under the ash were killed by falling buildings or other causes, such as poisonous fumes. The city was rediscovered and excavated in the 18th and 19th centuries. The remains and impressions of over 1000 human victims have been found. Plaster casts of the voids left in the ash by the bodies show their poses, and are sometimes detailed enough to show facial expressions at the time of death.

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