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The famous lifelike poses of many victims at Pompeii—seated with face in hands, crawling, kneeling on a mother's lap—are helping to lead scientists toward a new interpretation of how these ancient Romans died in the A.D. 79 eruptions of Italy's Mount Vesuvius.
Until now it's been widely assumed that most of the victims were asphyxiated by volcanic ash and gas. But a recent study says most died instantly of extreme heat, with many casualties shocked into a sort of instant rigor mortis.
"Heretofore archaeologists misinterpreted them as people struggling to breathe and believed they died suffocated by ashes," Mastrolorenzo said. "Now we know that couldn't be." Because of the extreme heat, "when the pyroclastic surge hit Pompeii, there was no time to suffocate," he said. "The contorted postures are not the effects of a long agony, but of the cadaveric spasm, a consequence of heat shock on corpses."
It amazes me how much power our little blue planet has. To think we fear the stars, the men in black and the alien life forms when some of our most dangerous foes are right beneath our feet waiting to swallow us.
Originally posted by Kandinsky
reply to post by anon72
In some strange way, each person has become a living statue with more significance than they ever would have achieved if they had died naturally and fallen by the wayside of history.
Originally posted by anon72
reply to post by mblahnikluver
Have a great time in Napes. And, please do, get a pic or two.
I think we should have a Travels/Vacation thread on here. With so many of us, going in different directions etc, we could pumb out some serious info on places that may help out a fellow ATSer etc.
The lines all start from the terminus in Naples, and then branch off in several places to towns on the Sorrentine peninsula, for which it forms an important commercial artery. The complete journey from Sorrento to Naples takes about one hour. Half-way along the line is the station at Pompeii Scavi, situated about 100 metres from the entrance to the excavations. There are also stops within reasonable walking distance - less than one kilometre - from the Roman city of Herculaneum and the Villa Poppaea (nearest station Torre Annunziata). Parts of the line are very scenic, particularly on the Sorrento peninsula, where the line passes through several tunnels and bridges. There is also a tunnel in Naples to allow the lines to pass under the mainline train station.