We can see some of the tragic death scenes in the plaster casts made by archaeologists using the Giuseppe Fiorelli’s technique.
The archaeologists poured liquid plaster into the hollows left in the ash when the bodies had decomposed to recreate the figures at the moment of their death.
This technique can be used for any material that decomposes, particularly wood, and has allowed plaster casts to be made of doors, windows, stairs and other parts of the houses in Pompeii.
A recent innovation in this technique has been used to obtain a cast of the body of a woman found in the ruins at Oplontis near Torre Annunziata.
The cast was made using glass fibre, which allowed the skeleton to be seen along with some of the jewels the woman was wearing as she attempted to escape.