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Pompeii Victim

Photo: Cast of Pompeii victim
When Mount Vesuvius erupted cataclysmically in the summer of A.D. 79, the nearby Roman town of Pompeii was buried under several feet of ash and rock. The ruined city remained frozen in time until it was discovered by a surveying engineer in 1748. As archaeologists excavated the site, they found it was strewn with air pockets where victims' bodies had decomposed within the hardened volcanic debris. By filling these hollows with plaster, they were able to create casts, such as the one shown here, that reveal with remarkable detail the suffering of Pompeii's citizens in their last moments.
Photograph by Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images

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