A Tragedy Encased In Plaster

They say that the worse tragedies leave behind scars that will never truly heal. That some wounds from the past are far too painful to ever truly close. If that is, indeed, the truth, then it’s a truth the lost city of Pompeii speaks for, and exemplifies.

Located in Southern Italy’s Campania region, near the Bay of Naples the ancient Roman city of Pompeii was lost in 79 A.D when, in the most famous of its many eruptions, Mount Vesuvius buried the city under a flood of ash. Those that were caught in the eruption were, eventually, buried alongside their loved ones inside their homes. At first, it was merely ash with some small rocks that enveloped the city, but then, the pyroclastic surge came, and with it, death. The people were buried in their homes, perfectly preserved in a natural plaster that immortalized their final moments for archaeologists to discover nearly 1700 years later, in 1748. The explorers discovered the lost city digging for ancient artifacts, discovering grisly city, in its dying whelps, preserved perfectly plaster ashen-made. Where people fell, where they cried, where their belongings scattered; all of it was perfectly preserved nearly 2 centuries after the tragic event that turned Pompeii into a memory.

I’m sure a company like plasterer in Sydney would not advertise using plaster in such a manner, but that’s irrelevant (and disturbing).

It’s a grisly reminder of a tragedy that can happen again, not just with Vesuvius, but with any volcano in the world. Thankfully, modern advancements in science and technology have afforded us the ability to foretell when such events will happen, which is good for the bustling metropolis of Naples, which lives under the shadow of Mount Vesuvius. All the same, the plaster memorials of the lost city of Pompeii is a stark and eerie reminder of the destructive powers that linger beneath our very feet, under the surface of the planet. May Pompeii never be forgotten, for it reminds us of the one inescapable truth: that nature gave life, and it can take it away just as easily.

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