Saturday, 14 August 2021

Pompeii victims' bodies revealed in scans

Nearly 2,000 years after Mount Vesuvius buried Pompeii in ash and pumice, advanced imaging technology is bringing to life the victims of the devastating eruption. About 2,000 people died in Pompeii, yet only 1,150 individuals have been discovered since the mid 19th-century excavations. Pompeii was buried under 8 to 9 feet of material with bodies encased in layers of hardened pumice and ash. Scientists found that their decayed corpses left voids. They poured plaster into the cavities, creating plaster casts of the impression in the ash.
The pictures of horror and death are now being investigated for the first time with a 16-layer CAT technology. Among the victims scanned was a boy about four years old. The boy was found next to an adult male and female, likely his parents, and to an infant who appeared to be asleep on his mother's lap. CT scans revealed his clothes and striking details of his skeleton.
The investigation also showed that many victims, who were rushing out of their houses in a desperate attempt to escape, were killed by severe head injuries, most likely rubble that fell from collapsing buildings and roofs. Results also suggest that Pompeii's people were healthy, with nearly perfect teeth.