Friday 18 June 2010

Article: Come morirono i pompeiani? Bruciati

See here (in Italian) for a National Geographic Italy article about how the people of Pompeii died. Based on new Italian research, it claims that the inhabitants of Pompeii died from burning rather than asphyxiation. But here's the thing - didn't we already know that? Is this really new?


Laura Nissin said...
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Laura Nissin said...

How would this research relate to this one:
also done in University of Naples Federico II

Eugene Dwyer said...

The vulcanologists are probably correct when they say that "death by asphyxiation" is a traditional or common diagnosis (as was once "death by drowning"). I think most now think that the high temperature (that was able to pervade the most secure hiding spots) was the main cause of death. However, each victim died his or her own death, and there were multiple causes of death (including concussion). It is perhaps a bit misleading to say "burning," since this implies the presence of oxygen -- and we know that there was none. The survival of soft tissue at Pompeii (as opposed to Herculaneum) is the biggest obstacle to the burning hypothesis.

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