In Pompeii a new stage through the casts of the victims of the eruption PHOTO


By John

The twisted bodies of the victims of the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 ADreturned to the present day thanks to the technique of casts obtained from the 'void' left by their shapes, are now represented in the Archaeological Park of Pompeii a new stage for visitors who from the entrance of Piazza Anfiteatro, crossing the stretch of walk in the greenery bordered by the ancient tombs of the Porta Nocera necropolis, reach a unique place, full of sacredness and compassion.

The new area, now usable after maintenance and enhancement interventions, exhibits 4 casts of the victims. Only one lies in the original position of discovery. It is an adult man, approximately 1.80 meters tall, in a prone position with his legs apart, covered on the back by a tunic. The cast was left in its original position directly on the lapillus. Two other victims were found not far away, between Porta Nocera and Tower II of the fortification: an adolescent lying on his left side, his legs bent forward with traces of tunic on his back and abdomen and the soles of his sandals; and an adult lying on his right side with bent arms and legs, traces of the tunic and the sole of the left sandal. The last cast of this group was a boy aged between 7 and 19, initially thought to be an elderly man, lying on his right side, which retains the imprint of a thin fabric on his chin, while on his feet he wore sandals with laces. The traces in the cast of a stick, a wooden bowl and a bag led us to believe that he was a beggar.

¬ęThe casts of the victims let us see the agony of people who died during the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD, a few decades after the events we commemorate in these Easter days – explains the director of the Park, Gabriel Zuchtriegel -. They are an invitation to remind us that beyond chocolate eggs, there is a history of men and women that has been handed down to us, and that Pompeii can help us understand that world in which many elements of our culture have their rootsnot least Christianity.”