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Pyroclastic Surges: Evidences at Pompeii

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Not strictly Roman or archaeological but a scientific paper based on evidence from Pompeii has just been published on PLoS One on the subject of Lethal Thermal Impact at Periphery of Pyroclastic Surges: Evidences at Pompeii which may interest some people.

 

The abstract reads:

 

The evaluation of mortality of pyroclastic surges and flows (PDCs) produced by explosive eruptions is a major goal in risk assessment and mitigation, particularly in distal reaches of flows that are often heavily urbanized. Pompeii and the nearby archaeological sites preserve the most complete set of evidence of the 79 AD catastrophic eruption recording its effects on structures and people.

 

Methodology/Principal Findings

Here we investigate the causes of mortality in PDCs at Pompeii and surroundings on the bases of a multidisciplinary volcanological and bio-anthropological study. Field and laboratory study of the eruption products and victims merged with numerical simulations and experiments indicate that heat was the main cause of death of people, heretofore supposed to have died by ash suffocation. Our results show that exposure to at least 250

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