Scientists Hope to Learn How Pompeians Lived, Before the Big Day
By ELISABETTA POVOLEDO
OCT. 5, 2015, nytimes.com
POMPEII, Italy — When Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 A.D., many of its victims in Pompeii were buried under mounds of pumice and ash that hardened over them like a mold, freezing them in time.
During more than two centuries of excavations, plaster casts were made of scores of those long-ago victims, making them a famous and poignant reminder of the unpredictability of death and the boundless power of nature.
But if the way Pompeii’s residents perished is well established, far less is known about how they lived. Now a team of scientists hopes to change that.
In September, an array of specialists — archaeologists, restorers, radiologists, anthropologists and others — set up a sophisticated field hospital of sorts here, complete with a computerized tomography scanner. Better known as a CT scanner, it will be used to peer beneath those opaque, improvised tombs.