On August 24, 79 AD, Mount Vesuvius in Pompeii, Italy exploded in a volcanic eruption. This eruption blasted tons of molten ash, pumice and sulfuric gas miles into the atmosphere. Smoke, mud, flames, and burning stones spewed from the summit of the mountain sending a rain of ash and rock through the surrounding countryside. The mud seeped down the sdies of Vesuvius, swallowing nearby farms, orchards, and villas. Adding to the destruction were the poisonous vapors that accompanied the falling debris.
The picture to the right shows what the city may have looked like as Mt. Vesuvius erupted.
There was an estimate of 2,000 residents in Pompeii and only about 900 of them left safely. Those that stayed behind died. Of the residents that fled the city, they took few possessions with them, but the ones that stayed behind were found buried with their most precious possessions. The people of Pompeii were consumed by the fumes which caused deliriousness followed by suffocation. Archeologists have found that the bodies in Pomeii suffered wind burns and their nose, mouth, and lungs were filled with dust. Many of the Discovered bodies were found in odd positions because they were basically buried alive.
This picture shows a woman buried with her valuable rings.
The City of Pomeii was buried in 4 meters (9 feet) of pumice. Archeologists actually didn't start evacating the area until the late 1800s. Today archeologists find bodies wherever they dig for them and they are constantly looking for something new to discover. In fact, archeologists were able to make casts of the bodies from the victims by filling the cavity with liquid plaster then carefully chipping away the lava, eventually to reveal a perfect cast of the body.
These two pictures show accurate detail of what the victims looked like when they died.