Visited the Pompeii exhibition at the Singapore National Museum on this very day. Now I know what and where is Vesuvius. =p
Enjoy my shots taken with a 55 f1.2 lens!
About the Body Casts victims of Vesuvius (read off a post in the exhibit):
The first phase of the eruption of Vesuvius was characterised by a fall of lapilli and small pumice stones. These covered the streets and courtyards and caused roofs to collapse. Following this, ash fell everywhere and filled up every possible space, alternating with pyroclastic flows of ash (nuees ardentes or ‘burning clouds’) which caused death and destruction due to their speed and extremely high temperatures. The ash later hardened and voids were created by the decomposition of organic materials – including human bodies and wooden items such as furniture, fixtures and objects – that were trapped in the ash.
In 1863 archaeologist and museum director Giuseppe Fiorelli filled these voids with liquid plaster and left them to set. The solidified imprints formed a cast on the victims. Unlike any other archaeological sites in the world, the hardened ash in Pompeii had preserved not only the skeletons of the victims, but also moulded their external appearances, clothes, shapes and gestures. A total of 103 casts have been made of the victims. The quality of each cast depends on the historical period of the excavation and the circumstances in which the victim was found (usually when the body is found by itself). Furthermore, voids of decomposed bodies are only possible in certain stratigraphic layers and as such, they are usually found in the layer of ash.