Who were the people of Pompeii?

The eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D caused over 20,000 deaths in the thriving city of Pompeii. The city was buried in a thick layer of volcanic ash, covering the city and its citizens until it’s rediscovery in 1599. It is a completely preserved ancient city, with buildings, artefacts, and human bodies found in the wreckage. Archaeologists have unearthed the human remains, discovering the body’s past lives and their last moments on earth. Here are just a few of the noteworthy bodies of Pompeii.

The People’s Great Smiles

After studying all the remains in Pompeii, archaeologists found that all the remaining individuals had a nice set of pearly white teeth. This was before dentistry was a practice, but not one member had a cavity. This indicates the city’s remarkedly good health, with a low level of sugar in their food regime, their diet comprising fibre, protein, and fruit. Water was also said to contain high levels of fluorine, which helps prevent cavities.

Baby diseases

Archaeologists have examination an array of children remains, discovering how Pompeii’s children barely survived childhood. Congenital syphilis was found in multiple babies and young children, as the disease left distinguishing marks on the victims’ bones. This disease ranks as the biggest cause of early death in Pompeii.

The Two maidens

Famously named as the ‘two maidens’, are the skeletal remains of an embracing couple. Clasping onto to each other before their demise, making their embrace an everlasting one. They were originally thought to be two women, hence the name the two maidens, but on a later CAT scan and DNA tests, they were discovered to be two men. The research showed that they were not relative, causing the speculation that they were homosexual lovers. Due to the tight embrace, scholars have suggested that the pair has some sort of emotional connection. Sadly, this mysterious love story may never be solved.

The Shackled Salve

Slavery was a common thing in the historic city of Pompeii. Ranging from sex workers, household servants, to concubines, the evidence of the cruel behaviour towards these victims depict how limited these salve’s freedom was. Pompeii’s streets are flooded with brothels, as the historic city’s most popular activity was said to indulgence in the luxurious houses of pleasure. Although most the remaining Pompeii artwork depicts these brothels as an erotic and exotic treat, the reality is very different. Majority of the sex workers were slaves, with only a tiny cell doubling a brothel room. Salves were also common in households, made to clean clothes in large tubs of urine. Salves were even chained, which is illustrated by the remaining preserved body of a salve. This victim could not escape the volcano’s wrath, due to shackles around his ankles. His body is lying face down on the ground and is a sad imagery of a shackled victim trying to escape his chains.

Explore the rich history of Pompeii on our Pompeii Day Tour today!