I had wanted to visit Pompeii since I was about eight years old. I don’t have a written bucket list, but if I did, Pompeii would have been right up the top. So, to actually be there was an amazing experience. Walking the streets of the ancient town, I could really imagine what day to day life was like in Roman times. The roads, the infrastructure, the businesses and the houses…all well-preserved under metres of volcanic ash for centuries, just waiting for archaeologists to strip back the layers to uncover the secrets contained there. It was truly fascinating. About half-way through our day there, we came across the shed in the photo above, which housed an assortment of artifacts (some replica) that have excavated at Pompeii…along with several of the famous plaster casts which reveal the final moments of over 1,000 of Pompeii’s residents.
And suddenly, I was struck with an overwhelming sense of sadness. These were real people, not shadowy figures in a story from the past. Real people who experienced one of the most terrifying of ways to die. Their pain and their anguish was set in plaster. These casts, frozen for centuries in that final moment of life, moved me in a way I will never forget.
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