The Mystery of the People Frozen in Time

2013, History  -  60 min Leave a Comment
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Pompeii is one of the most iconic monuments of the Roman world. Millions of tourists go there every year to see the remains of this ancient city destroyed by the volcano Vesuvius. What makes Pompeii so special are its remarkable relics. They're not statues but remains of people frozen in the last few seconds of their lives. Nothing like them has ever been seen anywhere else. They are unique.

Everything there is so well-preserved that we know almost every detail of what happened on those days in August, 79 AD; the earthquakes, the massive eruption, and the hale of ash, rock and pumice. We even know the stories of the people who perished. But why they're fixed in those extraordinary positions had been a mystery for centuries. Now it seems that vital clues have been overlooked.

Using new technology and state-of-the-art experiments we're going to find out, once and for all, why these people are caught in those strange positions and for the first time ever we're going to do something extraordinary... we're going to bring you face to face with two people who died there 2,000 years ago.

Over the last 265 years this fascinating city has slowly been excavated from beneath six meters of volcanic ash. Archaeologists have rediscovered a world frozen in time. But this city's last great secret is yet to be revealed. How exactly did its population die and why were their bodies so beautifully preserved?

The first stop of the investigation is close to the walls of the city. Beneath, what is thought to have been the livery stable, are the remains of three people. The figure in the center is the largest man ever found in Pompeii. He has a far bigger build than the average Roman. This has led people to believe he may have been a gladiator brought there from Africa. On either side of this giant are two other figures; an adult male and what is thought to be a young boy. These two casts were found together and many people believe they are the remains of a father and his son.