The Plaster Casts of Pompeii

plaster castsThe majority of the inhabitants of Pompeii died because of poisonous gases from the Mount Vesuvius. Their corpses were entirely buried by hot ashes raining from the sky. In 1870 the archaeologist Giuseppe Fiorelli used a technique based on filling the cavities generated where the corpses had decomposed with liquid plaster, in order to produce casts of the victims. Once the plaster had hardened, the surrounding soil was removed and the cast was brought to light. In Pompeii this technique was used to produce a number of molds of human bodies, animals and objects. Particularly interesting are the casts of the so called Field of the Fugitives, the entire family of the Casa del Bracciale d’oro, and the one of a man found in the Casa del Criptoportico on which are still visible the shoes he wore with the iron studs. On exhibition at the Antiquarium of Boscoreale is also the cast in epoxy resin made in 1984 on one of the victims found in the Villa of Lucius Crassius Tertius at Oplontis; this transparent cast allowed to spot jewels and coins possessed by the victim.

a victim of the eruption that buried PompeiiImagePlaster cast

Published by Emiliano's Archaeological Tours

My name is Emiliano Tufano, I am an archaeologist and tour guide. I run an organization providing archeaological and cultural tours in Campania. When I was ten years old I found a piece of painted pottery on a small piece of land belonging to my family, which is located nearby the ancient Greek city of Paestum. For the whole of that day I kept this piece of history in my hands. I remember that it was decorated with a black figured scene of a Satyr driving a biga. The feeling I had when realized it was a genuine antique object was very strong, and I started asking myself many questions about the people who occupied that area across the centuries and, particularly, about the man who made such a beautiful piece of work. Since then I started collecting all sorts of pots and stones that I found while I wandered through the countryside. I used to divide my finds simply on the basis of their shape and color. They were the first steps of me becoming an archaeologist. At school, history was my favorite subject; therefore my decision of which degree course to choose was an easy one, Archaeology. Today, archaeology is my profession and my passion. Throughout the years I developed skills in fieldwork and academic research. I participated as a field director in several excavation projects of fundamental importance across Italy and I was engaged in significant academic research projects in Sicily, Tunisia and Libya. I now fulfill my ambition with a PhD project about the Sicilian prehistory. However, my interests go beyond just the history. I have a strong creative side and I love photography, and I write articles for a newspaper in my local area, play football and enjoy diving. I enjoy traveling and have been to many different countries, where I always make particular efforts to learn as much of the local language and culture as possible. In 2010 I became qualified to work as a tourist guide of the Campania Region, and today I offer guided tours in Italian, English and Spanish. I live my job with passion and professionalism. With me you can visit the wonders of Campania: the Vesuvian archaeological sites of Pompeii, Herculaneum and other beautiful sites, such as the historic centers of Naples, Caserta and Salerno, the Amalfi Coast and Sorrento Coast, all the major churches and museums. Through exclusive and tailor-made tours, according to your requirements, you will receive quality service and cultural enrichment.

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