43 thoughts on “Life in Pompeii

  1. Jessica Schmitt

    It’s amazing to think how such a prosperous and lively city completely collapsed in a matter of seconds and how it became buried under 30 feet of ash, dirt, etc. With the casting, you can see how people spent the last couple seconds of their life. Whether it was being with their family or by themselves, every citizen was horrified.
    What archaeologists are doing to preserve the human remains is fascinating, and the video is really good at explaining how the casting process works.

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  2. morgan stubbs

    It’s really interesting to see the exact repercussions of the volcano eruption. These people were scared and were trying to protect their families, and themselves, and I think that people don’t really realize the gravity of the disaster and the destruction. When I’ve learned about Pompeii in the past, we would discuss the art and the architecture and that was about it. I think that this project devoted to recovering not only the art and the physical landscape but also the people. I think that it provides a more complete history of what happened in Pompeii. It’s amazing that archeologists can pull out the remains of the people that were covered thousands of years ago, and see the exact positions they were in during their last moments. It’s crazy to me that they can uncover such a complete history of Pompeii that includes the individuals that lived there in that time.

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  3. Caroline Petro

    I found this article to be bot fascinating and haunting. We are given a glimpse back in time as to what happened on that day. It’s as if parts of this day were frozen in time and it is incredible to see the remnants from this event. However, it is also incredibly sad. Here we see what these people looked like in their last surviving moments, and it is truly chilling. We cannot identify specific individuals, but we are able to tell what they were doing at the time, who they were holding on to whether that be a child or a another loved one, how they were trying to shield themselves etc., and that to me is a very personal thing.

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  4. Mona Amin

    I found this article so interesting. We just hear about the things that happened in Pompeii but this kind of gives you a more real sense as to what happens. Its sad to see because it just shows how scared and hopeless people were and how they tried to protect their families. It gives you a sense of how they spent their last minutes alive which is sad but so fascinating that that can even be seen especially because it happened long ago.

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  5. Sydney Andrews

    It’s very eery to think that all these people were just living their daily routines and all of a sudden tragedy hit. The fear represented in the body language of these people is very haunting. It is very awesome that archeologists have the ability to uncover so much about history through these people. These people and their positioning show a lot about human nature and our natural instinct to protect ourselves and our loved ones from harm which is an extremely interesting thing to me!

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  6. Ellen Field

    Everyone hears about the great volcanic eruption of Vesuvius and how the great city of Pompeii was buried under tons of hot ash and rock but no one really stops to think about the citizens of Pompeii. We are so used to hearing about natural disasters on t.v. and thinking “oh that’s terrible but that’s not going to happen to us”. This struck the people out of no where. They had no time to react other than running into their homes and protecting their families. We usually only find the skeletons of the buildings and the artifacts of daily life in antiquity but now with Pompeii, we are finally seeing the skeletons of the citizens and are able to see just how terrified they were in their last moments. This hits home because they were average human beings; living their lives when disaster struck. This could be us today in any city on Earth and that’s incredible. We take our lives for granted because we assume that we will wake up tomorrow and repeat our daily routine because that’s what we are used to but that’s not guaranteed. Pompeii shows us just how short life can be and lets us enjoy the life we have while we have it.

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  7. Olivia Gallagher

    Even though this was a very sad read, it was also interesting. It was somewhat a relief to read that this horrific eruption that kill all the residents of Pompeii did not suffer; they died within an instant. It was emotional to read and look at the images of people trying to protect each other. What was interesting however was how excavators poured plaster to capture the event. It gives people of today more information of how this wealthy city of Pompeii lived before the tragic volcanic eruption.

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  8. Kathleen Elliott

    The preservation of Pompeii is a massive task and the archaeologists at work are doing a wonderful job at it. The way they are methodically recorded and preserving is incredibly interesting. It’s crazy to think that even after all of these years are studying Pompeii, new methods for preservation are still being developed. The events that occurred at Pompeii all those years ago is fascinating as well as horrifying. We cannot even begin to understand what the citizens of Pompeii went through in those few, short moments. It’s incredible that with the preservation methods we have today that we can see the expressions on faces and even some hairstyles. The facial expressions are a unique, yet horrific, artifact that cannot be found anywhere else in the world. We should be grateful for the preservation methods that are being used because they allow us to see and learn so much more than what we could without them.

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  9. Khadijah Johnson

    This article is absolutely amazing. There has been many publications like movies who try to tell us what exactly happened. The problem is that I don’t necessarily believe them . That’s why I was glad to come across this article by some of the archaeologists studying the sight. The fact that they were able to find remains of people still laying in their beds upon their death. What’s astounding is how quickly this disaster took place , because some people never woke up from their sleep . The fact they were able to discover certain parts of the city under all of the ruble. This makes me think of the city of Atlantis . Many believe that the city was never real while other s disagree. But honestly who knows. If archaeologists were able to find the location (if reall), they may find some remarkable structures .

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  10. Emily Jewell

    The article was fascinating to read. The eruption of Mount Vesuvius was a tragic event that destroyed Pompeii and Herculaneum. Because the site was preserved under 30 feet of ash, we are able to gain a greater understanding of their culture and final moments. The remains captured people’s postures, hair, and clothing, and the allows us to examine them by applying plaster. While it is interesting to study, it is also very tragic. The restores have a challenging task to carefully preserve the figures while reconstructing the remains of another person that lived 2000 years ago.

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  11. Kait Luncher

    This article was an interesting read for me especially since I love learning about Mt.Vesuvias and Pompeii. I actually went there this summer, so it was cool to read about it and than be able to relate it to what I saw in person. It always amazes me how the bodies were preserved by the ash and in ways that show exactly what was going on at that time. In a weird way it created art and in with each person you find you are able to interpret a story out of it and what was going on in that moment, you can kind of almost picture yourself in the scenario. Which is just so amazing!

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  12. Alicia Sadler

    It is so rare that we are able to connect personally and directly with history. Not only are these plaster casts embodying moments in time, but they are representing the human race and the similarities we share about 2000 years later. It is one thing to see a decomposed or mummified body, but to be able to see these people posed and stuck in time is both beautiful and tragic. From the photographs, there is an expression of family, love, and unity in the face of death. It truly is amazing the beauty that can be derived from such a horrendous moment in time simply because that moment in time never ends.

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  13. Olivia Price

    Historians’ ability to continue uncovering the mysteries of Pompeii after so many centuries shows the amazing progress in our historic preservation. These discoveries also bring light to what actually happened on that devastating day, when an entire city was buried and lives were lost. Because this natural disaster was unknown for so long, the public has been very objective of the existence of Pompeii. Now that we are able to see the human lives, frozen right before death, there is a new aspect of humanity and loss. As the mystery of this city gets uncovered, we become more aware of the death and destruction and can relate it to tragedies happening in today’s world.

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  14. Taylor Norquist

    There is no doubt that what happened to Pompeii was horrifying and disastrous, but researchers and archaeologists are pouring plaster into the bodies remains so that they can get an idea on how the people died. It was said that over 10,000 people died on that day. So many mothers and fathers hovering over their children bodies to shield them from the volcanic ash. They said it was as if time stood still. The fact that archaeologists can get an idea of how the people died and approximately how old they were shows a great deal of expertise.

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  15. Jim Bramnick

    It is scary how well the bodies were preserved by the plaster to examine later. You can see the expressions, the pain, the fear. I cannot comprehend what they felt that day when the mountain erupted but the plaster casting can give us a definite idea of what they might have felt. Another thing I found interesting was the plaster casting itself. How does pouring plaster in a hole provide you with such great capturing of life so long ago. When they were saying that resin does this even better I was astonished and wondered what a resin cast figure looked like so I looked it up here is the link to the figures
    https://www.google.com/search?q=resin+cast+figures&espv=2&biw=1366&bih=682&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwir35W7iKfJAhXB5yYKHb-6DfQQsAQIIw#imgrc=Osexd6Tdux2VcM%3A
    If created resin cast figures look like that i wondered how accurately the skeletons could be made.

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  16. Michael Ryan

    Wow these images are powerful. As I read through this article and looked at all of the images it was clear to see exactly how time consuming and serious the archaeologists jobs are. Each one is working meticulously to garnish a better understanding on each of these people that they have found who were entombed in the ash from Mount Vesuvius. Its a chilling thought for me to try and picture what it would have been like to be there when the volcano erupted, and its amazing to see how well these peoples remains were preserved. I also find it amazing that science has progressed to the point where we can look at skeletons of humans and their environment and figure out how they died, what was going on, and even who they were with. Its interesting to see how much can be learned from all of this.

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  17. Jaclyn Marcone

    I think it is fascinating that after all these years remains of the skeletons of the people killed in pompeii are being discovered by archeologists. I think preserving the bodies by plaster is extremely important because it allows us to examine the bodies and predict what these people were doing before they were buried in ash. I found the image of the child resting on the mother was extremely sad and horrifying.

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  18. Laura Bufano

    I have always loved the story of Pompeii and have found it so interesting. I loved how this video tried to show you how people use to live and how their town was. I agree that preserving the bodies with plaster is the best way, That way we can learn as much as we can from them and continue to learn more. The one with the two lovers holding each other is really upsetting. The mother and child plaster molds show how everyone knew it was their last moments and they wanted to be with the people they love.

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  19. Martin Gomez

    This article does an excellent job of showing the difficulties that archaeologists can face when uncovering new sites. The painstaking processes that these men and women go through to ensure that as much of a site is preserved is astounding. This has certainly increased my appreciation for the history that archaeologists are able to give to us. This article also go me thinking about how I would be found if a volcano were to erupt during my every day life.

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  20. Victoria Coleman

    I loved reading this article, Pompeii has always piqued my interest because no volcanoes have erupted or throw so much ash into the air it covers a whole city. The finding of ash covered people actually confuses me a lit. If I had lived in the time that Mt. Vesuvius erupted I would have run the moment the ground started shaking or if I saw the cloud of ash in the sky coming from the volcano. Why didn’t the people run? Did people escape Pompeii and go live somewhere else? Would I be too scared to run and instead stay inside my house if I thought I was safe? These questions always run through my head when I come across an article about Pompeii and its people. I wonder what those people were like and I wish I could ask them for their reasons on staying.

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  21. Cara Dudley

    I took latin for a few years and that’s where I first learned about the city of Pompeii. It was tragic to learn about it then and it’s still tragic to read about now. However, it’s really neat what they’re doing with the plaster. It really gives a good insight as to what people then would wear or what art work they decorated buildings with. It’s almost like a time capsule. However, looking at the expressions of the people does bring about sadness. This event was both good and bad: good because it gives us a window to the past, but bad because thousands of people died tragically.

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  22. Peyton Murray

    The work of these archeologists uncovering the remains of Pompeii is remarkable. These plastered casts that archeologists are restoring of the victims being completely submerged in ash by the volcanic eruption is amazing. Not only does it take someone with a select set of skills but archeologists must also be cognizant that they’re dealing with once living human beings. Some of the plastered casts that have been restored from the remains are breathtaking upon first view. The expressions of fear and terror that are revealed on some of these Pompeii victims are difficult to look at because the poses and facial expressions reveal how they died and so abruptly.

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  23. Kayla

    It’s so fascinating how this volcanic eruption preserved all of the bodies in the form they died in. It’s just emotional. You can picture just how quickly everyone’s situation changed and you can see the fear that some of the people had just in their poses alone. It’s humbling because it’s a physical representation of how things can go from wealthy and happy to destroyed in a matter of seconds.

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  24. Erica Parker

    I think it is so neat how after all this time we have the technology to see these people in such a human way. It think it helps us to relate more to story of Pompeii. When you hear the story you do not always make it personal, but seeing the remains of these people make it more real. There were children, babies, men, women, and animals. These people were just experiencing a normal day when the unexpected happened. It makes you wonder what was going through their heads when they realized there was no way they would survive.

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  25. Reina Datta

    When archaeologists uncover the forms of humans who once lived in Pompeii, it is more than just an artifact. You are looking at a snapshot in time. To think that this is the position that the person took in the last seconds of their lives is not only fascinating but also heartbreaking because it seems so abrupt. The tool of using the plaster to preserve the form is an inspired idea, because the remains are sure to disintegrate.

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  26. Rebekah Funkhouser

    This is quite fascinating. I always loved the story of Pompeii. It seemed to be an amazing city of it’s time. It’s sad that these are the people’s last movements but it allows us to see back in time. These people had lives and were going throughout the day as a normal day. It is crazy that you can also see their facial expressions.

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  27. Sarah Law

    I found it interesting to learn about the ways in which the archaeologists hope to preserve the casts that they are taking by using resin instead of the plaster mix. It is unfortunate that the resin is expensive because I am sure that if it was easily available to the archaeologist they would over come the difficulties that come with using that material. Learning about the way archaeologist preserve the remaining shapes of the people and things with certain consistencies of plaster as well as the the techniques they used to poor it into the cavities was very informative.

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  28. Alex Patzman

    I thought that this article was extremely heart breaking. It is fascinating to see how well these people were preserved at their time of death and their actions and movements. At first they look like statues, and they are really interesting to look at in that way. But when it sinks in that these were the bodies of actual people rather than created figures, these images become so much darker and a little disturbing to look at.

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  29. Dalton Baughn

    I find Pompeii fascinating. This article really brought into perspective how these people lived and played out their last moments of life. The efforts made to make these casts of their bodies is miraculous. This article just reminds me of a documentary I watched on how the people of Pompeii lived and died. In the documentary they focused on a group of people that died together in a basement. Two of the skeletons bones were dyed green from the jewelry they were wearing, which leads you to believe they were wealthy. One of the skeletons was found to be a male of African heritage, which really shows that these people did not bother worrying about skin color, which I found very interesting.

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  30. Rachel James

    I can’t imagine what kind of terror must have been experienced by the citizens of Pompeii when Mt. Vesuvius erupted and killed 25,000 people on the spot. The images of the remains of young children grasping their parents for protection and comfort breaks my heart.
    I am glad that the researchers and archaeologists are treating the site of Pompeii with care and compassion. It must be really hard to study such devastation.

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  31. Grayson D'Alessandro

    For this article, I took a long time to read the replies that other people submitted. I agree with much of them: especially the idea of being stuck in a city that was quickly being destroyed. It’s absolutely terrifying. Other than that, I really liked seeing the science behind making those casts. It’s really odd to see these human figures: they aren’t mummified or even real humans at this point; they’re made of stone, practically; and the people who they represent are long dead, but the implications are daunting. It must have been almost nightmarish for archaeologists to discover this the first time. Personally, Roman history fascinates me, so overall I really enjoyed reading this article.

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  32. Cheyenne Johnson

    This is such a rare opportunity to look back into the lives of ancient Romans. The excavations and all that can be learned is quite fascinating. I thought it was interesting when one of the archaeologists commented on how sad it was that these casts were once people too. That in order to gain this valuable information all these people had to die in a most painful way. So as archaeologists not only are they recording and preserving history but in a sense are finally giving these people a final resting place, recognizing that their suffering was not in vain.

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  33. Rebecca Reed

    It’s crazy for me to think about this happening to anyone. I can’t imagine how they felt. It’s very intriguing and interesting to see that many of their bone survive under the porous plaster. Although it happened because of an unfortunate event, it is cool to see that they remain in this condition. One would think after all of this time that there would be nothing left. I guess that just shows us how powerful nature and time can be.

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  34. Lily Van Horn

    It is incredible how well preserved the city of Pompeii is. It is like the time stopped in Pompeii and we now have an almost perfect picture of how life was back then. The details of the city were so well conserved by the ash that it not only captured the positions of the people, but also the emotions. Mount Vesuvius’ eruption over Pompeii serves as a time machine for archaeologists today.

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  35. Emma Whitaker

    The eruption of Mt. Vesuvius permanently froze Pompeiian society and while unfortunate has allowed archeologist and other scientists to learn about this ancient culture. While skin and hair on most of the bodies has gone, the hard shell wrapped around the bodies left the skeletons full and intact, frozen in positions depicting the emotions during those 18 hours of eruptions. What really stood out to me was the first body picture shown in the article of the mother and child standing on her stomach/abdomen. The lava and ash must have been coming down hard and fast for these two people to have been stuck and petrified in such a position.

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  36. Justin Pitts

    I think that the way these archeologists conserve the remains of what remained of Pompeii is extraordinary! When looking at the pictures of the aftermath of this volcanic eruption, the fist thought that crosses my mind is how is there anything left? Pictures of the recovered bodies that seemed to be just frozen in time is rather interesting to me. I constantly wonder how they conserve pieces like this when they must be very delicate.

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  37. Lauren Cook

    Pompeii is one of the most revealing archaeological sites due to its preservation. As an archaeologist to be, I know that it is difficult to picture an everyday life of someone who lived in antiquity. Pompeii shows that image through the multiple plasters of actual once living human beings. Even some remains of furniture was found under all the layers of ash. While the event that happened was tragic, it was a great historical find modern day archaeologist.

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  38. Ellie A

    Ever since I took Latin back in middle school, I have been interested in the events that had occurred in Pompeii. I think that the discovery of the remains after the volcano eruption are both completely amazing and sad. Though sad, they tell us a lot about life in Pompeii. The ash captured the people off guard, and in result of that time was sort of frozen in a way and what they are doing when they died tells us so much about the past. Even their poses tell us how they died: some trapped in buildings, trapped while sleeping, and others sheltering with families. It’s honestly remarkable and a blessing that this evidence has been preserved so well and we can uncover it and learn so much about them.

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  39. Noah Dewey

    Putting these carcasses into a relatable and real life setting really puts into perspective how tragic and also terrific the prosperous city of Pompeii was. The eruption of Mt. Vesuvius uniquely froze the setting and situations of everyday people, giving a unique insight to the functionality of this historic city.

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  40. Nicolette Vallee

    It seems almost impossible for an entire city to be completely preserved due to volcanic ash covering it. However, the city of Pompeii proves it to be possible. It is amazing that architects are able to uncover so much history that gives today’s society an insight to the lives of individuals during Pompeii’s time.

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  41. Lostinwonderland

    I took Latin in highschool and they talked about the eruption in such great detail in the textbook, it is amazing how one second something is there but is then gone. I’ve always thought the preserved bodies where almost like art pieces themselves. They are like little fragments of frozen time, it’s very sad and interesting.

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  42. Zane Allison

    Pompeii and the surrounding area are the only place I can think of where people are so forcefully confronted with the human toll of past catastrophes. Because of the plaster casting process one can see the face of men, women, children, and even animals at their moment of death and the terror shows. The article was interesting in that it showed some of the attempted restoration of this unique asset. Dealing with the repercussions of 18th and 19th century archeology is always interesting and I think it’s important that recognize that some of their attempts at preservation are going to have to be preserved themselves.

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  43. Emily Siegfried

    Pompeii has always interested me! In fact, it is on my Bucket List to one day visit the site and experience it for myself. It has always struck me as to just how well preserved everything in the city was, from the people, to the pets, to the bits and pieces of every day life. Pompeii is interesting because of how tragic it is. The fact that art historians and archeologists can piece the remnants of life back together is incredible.

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