Preserved in Ash: A Snapshot of Pompeii

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When we think about the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, that deadly volcano that leavened the ancient Roman town of Pompeii, we don’t consider the neighboring communities. In fact, many of the other towns situated around Vesuvius, including Herculaneum, were damaged or destroyed as well. So why does Pompeii get so much attention?

Presumably because of the town’s advanced cultural and technological innovations, which put the small Italian city years ahead of its contemporaries. We’re lucky to have artifacts that made it through the disaster and hold up to this day. They’re currently on display at The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia as part of the museum’s “One Day in Pompeii” exhibit.

One amazing component of this exhibit are the casts of bodies of Pompeiians perfectly preserved in the ash that rained down after the eruption. This is as close as you’ll get to actually meeting one of these ancient citizens, so be sure to visit the exhibit before it vanishes April 27.