National Geographic : 1961 Nov
NATIONALGEOGRAPHICARTIST ROBERTW. NICHOLSON © N.G.S. How Pompeii Perished: Cross Section Exposes Layers of Volcanic Fallout Lapilli quickly buried the city to an average depth of 12 feet. When the accumulation of stones reached second stories, survivors fled across balconies, only to be felled by wet ash and poison gas. As the mud hardened, it preserved their forms, even to details of cloth ing. Some were naked, having discarded hampering, mud-laden garments. IODACHROMEIJ NATIONALGEOGRAPHICSOCIETY 658 Struggling upward against oppressive ash, a fleeing merchant died before he could regain his feet. Plaster preserves his death mask, molded by the volcanic mud of 1,900 years ago. Scattered Casts Lie Where Fugitives Died After bulldozers scrape off earth and ash, dig gers delicately probe for molds of mud that hard ened around victims, then fill them with plas ter. Here the molds have been removed and the plaster forms revealed.