Introduction: Last Days of Pompeii (Secrets of the Dead) (01:41)
A catastrophic volcanic eruption buries the ancient Roman city nearly 2,000 years ago; plaster casts preserve victim remains. This film examines what life was like before the eruption.
Modern Pompeii Excavations (06:17)
Initial excavations reveal a city street and square, evidence of construction work, and evidence of the disaster date that contradicts the long-accepted date of August 24, 79 AD. A newly excavated street reveals the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in phases.
Complex North of Pompeii (04:02)
A police investigation leads archaeologists to a room in the partially excavated area. They discover the room is the stables of a large villa and make casts of saddled horses. The Villa of the Mysteries provides information on life in Pompeii.
Stable Excavations (05:11)
Outside the doors, archaeologists discover a metal object; they theorize it is a two-wheeled chariot. Eric Poehler discusses transport carts, the flow of traffic, and stables in ancient Pompeii.
Villa Chariot (08:00)
Archaeologists continue excavating the stables and uncover two more wheels and a decorated back; looters narrowly missed it when digging tunnels. Decorative medallions display erotic scenes, suggesting the chariot is ceremonial.
Archaeologists discover a well-preserved roadside tavern that served hot and cold food, and drinks. The number of eateries suggests the people of Pompeii loved to dine out. Steven Ellis reflects on Roman retail.
Ancient Roman Diet (06:37)
The thermopolium offers new insight into daily life in Pompeii. Archaeologists analyze the contents of jars and dolium, and discuss the paintings that decorate the thermopolium's bar. They discover human bones.
Ancient Roman World (05:23)
Experts catalog findings from Pompeii. They reflect on ancient daily life and activities that were occurring when Mount Vesuvius erupted. Ludovica Alesse and Paola Sabbatucci work to preserve metal sheets from the chariot.
Servants Quarters (02:24)
Archaeologists discover a tiny room adjacent to the villa stables with three wooden beds and clay pots. A steering mechanism suggests that the occupants were responsible for the chariot.
Victim Remains (07:30)
Archaeologists discover the skeletal remains of two men in a room off a corridor beneath the villa. Scans and casts reveal clothing details and manner of death. Evidence suggests that Mount Vesuvius erupted in the fall. Experts determine the social status and age of the victims.
Reimaging the Final Days (03:45)
Recent discoveries reinforce a human connection to the people of Pompeii and provide insight into urban life. Experts reflect on street activity the day Mount Vesuvius erupted. The disaster claimed the lives of 2,000 people. (Credits)
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