Bodies from the Ash: Life and Death in Ancient Pompeii

by James M. Deem

The eruption of Mt. Vesuvius and the destruction of the bustling city of Pompeii... read more

The eruption of Mt. Vesuvius and the destruction of the bustling city of Pompeii are brought to life in this fascinating exploration of the bodies that have been found and the stories they tell. Unlike other Pompeii stories, which explain the tectonics involved in the great disaster, Bodies from the Ash focuses on human and cultural life in Pompeii. It documents the painstaking recovery and interpretation of artifacts that were ironically preserved by the very heat that killed the citizens. James Deem’s book is stuffed with photos of archaeological sites and artifacts, as well as maps and artwork that serve as primary source documents. He explains how plaster casts are made of preserved bodies and some of the basic science that goes into the identifying and cataloging remains. Based on the location of certain bodies, the clothes that they were wearing, and the angle at which their bones were crushed, archaeologists and historians can tell an amazing amount of information about the homes and the people in them, including their class, their health, and exactly what they might have been doing at the moment the volcano blew. (Ages 9–14)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2006

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