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Tomography of bodies in Pompeii

This post is also available in: Polish (polski)

Scans of bodies in Pompeii
Scans of bodies in Pompeii

Pompeii archaeologist Massimo Osanna announced in 2015 that a team of archaeologists, computer engineers, radiologists and orthodontists would use computed tomography to examine the remains of 86 victims who died in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 CE in Pompeii.

In the late 19th century, Italian archaeologist Giuseppe Fiorelli developed an innovative method of preserving the bodies of Pompeians. By pouring liquid stucco into the empty space through a small hole, he managed to recreate the former shape of the inhabitants’ bodies. Thanks to this method, to this day we can admire the casts of the bodies of Pompeii inhabitants twisted in deathly convulsions. However, bone cast behaviour has been impossible to investigate by doctors for years. Tomography makes this possible and scientists say that thanks to this method it is possible to find out the sex, age, diet and diseases the victims suffered from.

The orthodontist Elisa Vanacore also claims that the citizens of Pompeii had a very good dentition, which is probably due to a good diet – rich in vegetables and fruits.


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