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Saturday, 2 November 2013

HUMAN REMAINS at HERCULANEUM

These are quite gruesome pics of the residual bodiforms at Pompeii and Herculaneum.
Pompeii was hit by a cloud of noxious, super-heated gas. People who were left behind were killed on the spot. Their bodies were made rigid by the pumice and ash that fell upon them.
Their preservation was designed by an operation that allowed the pouring of plaster into the hollow forms.
The white areas are the old bones.
These old bones are famous and have been shown before, but more recently, the remains of those marooned on the shore at Herculaneum have been exposed.
As you approach the site from above ( the third most densely populated area of Europe lies above the site) and wander down to the small area which has been exposed, the guide points out the old coastline below.
In 79AD this town was quite Greco-Romano. The Greeks were admired for their "style" and "culture". But it didn't help them get saved by the boats which they expected to arrive and save them.
The boat sheds contain the remains of many women and children waiting to be saved. They were overwhelmed by a lava-mud-slurry. They have only recently been exposed by careful digging.
Their skeletons display the body language of those last few tragic moments. They are mainly women and children and it is suggested that the men were on the beach trying to get boats to come ashore to save them.
It is a chillingly awesome sight...
Gillian

3 comments:

helen tilston said...

Hello Gillian
It must have been horrific for those dear people. I am sure you were also saddened when visiting these sites.

Helen

carol said...

Seeing them caught in the moment of death is terrifying and all too easy to empathise with. the other part of me, an almost-archaeologist (I did an extramural course and some digging at London sites) I can't help being drawn to the thought of what these bodies can tell about the life-style of the day. Probably much of it is known already but I can imagine there is a lot more to find out through DNA, mass spectrometers and so on. Thanks for great photos.

chillsider stitching and opinions said...

I nearly didn't leave the bodies behind as I got horrible heat stroke last time I was there, and really didn't want to ever move again......may have been stress as well as I hated the poor people being gawped by us tourists as they died in agonyover and over again