Resurrecting Pompeii [NOOK Book]

Overview

Pompeii has been continuously excavated and studied since 1748. Early scholars working there and in other sites associated with the AD 79 eruption of Mount Vesuvius were seduced by the wealth of artefacts and wall painting yielded by the site, meaning that the less visually attractive evidence, such as human skeletal remains, was largely ignored, and its archaeological value unrecognized and compromised.

A number of skeletons were used as props for vignettes of the tragic last ...

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Resurrecting Pompeii

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Overview

Pompeii has been continuously excavated and studied since 1748. Early scholars working there and in other sites associated with the AD 79 eruption of Mount Vesuvius were seduced by the wealth of artefacts and wall painting yielded by the site, meaning that the less visually attractive evidence, such as human skeletal remains, was largely ignored, and its archaeological value unrecognized and compromised.

A number of skeletons were used as props for vignettes of the tragic last moments of the victims, made to impress dignitaries visiting the site. They were also used to creatively reconstruct the lives of the victims in literary works, such as Edward Bulwer-Lytton's 1834 novel, The Last Days of Pompeii, where the skeletal evidence is presented through storytelling with a thin veneer of science. This work in particular has had a profound influence and has driven the agenda of many Pompeian and Campanian skeletal studies into the twenty-first century.

Recognizing the important contribution of the human skeletal evidence to the archaeological of Pompeii and studying the reasons for the scientific neglect of the human remains, Resurrecting Pompeii provides detailed information about what the skeletal record can actually provide. Estelle Lazer demonstrates that biological evidence dose not support the detail of the stories that have been told to date , but it dose yield tantalizing glimpses into the lives and deaths of the victims, providing students of archaeology and history with an essential resource in the study of this fascinating historical event.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'Resurrecting Pompeii is a remarkable book' – Times Literary Supplement

'Those who have been lucky enough to hear Estelle lecture will not be surprised by the clarity and pervading logic of her narrative, nor by the touches of quirky humour that emerge. From the first page the tone is a ‘double whammy’, both engaging and scholarly.'Dennis Mootz, NSW History Teacher's Association, Australia

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780203885161
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis, Inc.
  • Publication date: 7/23/2009
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 408
  • File size: 4 MB

Meet the Author

Estelle Lazer is an honorary associate at the University of Sydney. Her research interests include forensic archaeology and Antarctic cultural heritage management. She has spent seven field seasons working on the human skeletal remains at Pompeii.

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Table of Contents

Part 1: The Last Days of Pompeii 1. Skeletons as artefacts 2. An Egyptian interlude 3. An anthropological resource 4. Context of a mass disaster Part 2: The Victims 5. The nature of the evidence 6. Attribution of sex 7. Determination of age at death 8. General health and lifestyle indicators 9. The population 10. The casts 11. Making sense Appendices Bibliography Index

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