Afternoon in Pompeii

© Jean B. Hall

Afternoon in Pompeii

Uploaded: September 05, 2009


At about 1:30 in the afternoon on August 24, 79 A.D., Mt. Vesuvius erupted, burying the seaside resort of Pompeii under tons of pumice and volcanic ash. It lay forgotten for the next 1,669 years, until excavation efforts were begun in 1748.

In 1860, the Italian archaeologist Giuseppe Fiorelli discovered that by injecting plaster into the pockets left by decomposed bodies, amazingly realistic replicas of those who perished in the disaster could be produced. (Today, resin is used because it is so much more durable.)

This photo is of one such plaster replica, which was being stored in a shed near the entrance -- along with pottery shards and other artifacts -- the day I visited Pompeii.

All the bodies of the Pompeiians were very small by today’s standards -- and remarkably moving in their death throes. And more will almost certainly be discovered in the future, as only about a third of Pompeii has been unearthed so far.


Tammy M. Anderson level-deluxe September 05, 2009

Terrific find and capture, Jean. Interesting info too. #1176919

Jean B. Hall September 05, 2009

Thank you so much! Pompeii was my favorite part of our trip to Italy. #7918537

Tiia Vissak September 06, 2009

great tones, light, details & framing! #7920163

Jean B. Hall September 06, 2009

Thanks very much, Tila. #7920175

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