Human Remains, Pompeii
One of the most impressive sights were the petrified bodies in exhibiting. Reading the guide, Horacio claimed that they were original.
It would be too much violent so I told him they were scaled reproductions. He didn't insist and I relaxed. But not very sure.
True or imitation, the figures hit they goal - to remember the human dimension of the drama.
In the three terrible days of August 79 AD, when Vesuvius underwent the most destructive period of its activity - three major coastal communities in Campania, namely, Herculaneum, Pompeii and Stabia WERE WIPED OUT, each in different ways derived from their different locations with respect to the volcano.
Pompeii was covered by a layer "only" 6 meters deep consisting of ash and cinder, considerably less difficult to remove.
Situated on the western slopes of Vesuvius, Herculaneum was hit by a flow of boiling mud, perceded by burning cloud at a temperature of about 400 Celsius degrees. As the mud solidified, over the centuries it formed a tuffaceous mass between 16 to 25 meters thick, creating a situation completely different from that of Pompeii.
The town of Stabia, unlike the other two, was completely destroyed by Silla during the occupation 10 years later, and rebuilt only partially
In 79AD, Vesuvius erupted, destroying the cities of Herculaneum and Pompeii.
The pyroclastic blast from the eruption incinerated the inhabitants of Herculaneum. In Pompeii, although the 2000 inhabitants who did not escape the city were killed, the eruption preserved as well as destroyed.
The ash cases contained skeletons and were kept intact. It is possible to pour plaster into the hollow, which then sets about the skeleton to reveal an exact cast of the body at the moment of death.
The ash that buried Pompeii also doomed the human inhabitants. The ash and burning cinders adhered to all life, encapsulating them for all time. Over the millennium, their internal organs and soft tissue had long vanished, leaving only the outlines and bones of their bodies.
In 1863, a process was developed and used to create casts of the remains, after removing the outer layer of pumice. What you have are the perfectly preserved remnants of the inhabitants of this once theiving city. You can even see their horror and agony in their death throes.
The Orto dei Fuggiaschi (in English, Garden of the Fugitive) is a big garden cultivated as a vineyard. Here you can see the plaster casts of some of the victims of the eruption of Vesuvius while they were seeking an escape.
Hundreds of casts of human and animal bodies survive in Pompeii. The way they were preserved is unique and gives an insight into the life and death of the city.
Although the flesh decayed the skeletons of the victims remained trapped within the preserving layer of volcanic debris. This sarcophagus of ash also maintained an imprint of each body as it was at the time of death.
This sobering scene of bodies frozen in time and ash is both a reminder of those catastrophic events of 79 AD and at the same time inspires wonder at the preservation of the bodies. This is located by the entrance to Pompeii nearest to the Colisseum.
Inappropriate humor aside, one can view several different bodies that have been preserved in ash in Pompeii. They are located in a covered area behind a fence by the forum. This is where they have stored many other artifacts as well.
In 1748, Pompeii was rediscovered--not only its houses, but (eventually) some of its citizens. Although only fragmentary skeletal remains were found there, hollow spaces within the hardened volcanic debris revealed the forms of many deceased Romans. Suffocated by volcanic gasses and covered in ash and debris, their bodies eventually decayed inside the hardening matter. This air space essentially formed a mould, since the ash that had surrounded the person retained an imprint of the body. Excavator and Archaeologist Giuseppe Fiorelli, who had taken charge of the excavations in 1860, realized this and injected the cavities with plaster, which set. He then chipped away the ash which had set like stone from around the plaster casts. The resulting "plaster mummies" poignantly capture the human tragedy of Pompeii.
All the casts in Pompeii are the original ones, they can be seen nowhere else.
At first sight, these bodies covered & hardened by ash, mud & debris looked creepy but as I looked upon them, I felt sad because they couldn't escape the volcanic eruptions of Vesuvius and died where they stood from the heavy clouds of ash or stones. Many of the bodies discovered were found where they died, encased in a grey cast and preserved in death
At various locations throughout Pompeii you will find casts of human remains. These people died during the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. The casts were created by archaeologists who poured plaster into cavities created by decomposed human remains. Archaeologists listened underfoot for the sound of hollow spaces in order to hear where potential remains might be found.
These is a cast of the body of one of many people who died in Pompeii, most are all plaster but some still have some rest of bone from the original body like this one, where you can see the bone of the skull and his teeth, that are still visible. And for me, the most horrible thing about this all is the fear and suffering you can see in their faces that was frozen in time. They all died a horrible and painful death. Really sad for a people who had it all . But I guess you learn from this, Don?t take life for granted but live it like it was your last day. Every day .
Although many of the bodies have been removed to the Museum in Naples, there are some still to be seen on site. In a glass case is a slender noble women, and a slave [ recognisable by his thick leather belt round his waist.].
In the storage alcoves are a man lying on his back; and most poignant to me, the man sitting with his head in his hand. He reminds me of one of those awaiting descent into hell in Michaelangelo's painting on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.
This man has been surprised by the hot cloud which felt on the city.
The ingeneer who began the excavation had a brilliant idea : to put plaster in the hole corresponding of the bodies. So he got perfect casts of the trapped people.
An earthquake in AD 62, which shook Pompeii and damaged many buildings, was merely a prelude to what happened on a tragic day in AD 79 when Mount Vesuvius erupted, burying the town under 6m (20ft) of pumice and ash. Although it was discovered in the 16th century, serious excavation began only in 1748, revealing a city petrified in time. In some buildings paintings and sculpture have survived and graffiti is still visible on street walls. But the most tragic and poinient reminders of what life in Pompeii was once like, are the bodies of the inhabitants cast where they died in stone.