Perhaps the most exciting discoveries are the most gruesome. The new excavations in Pompeii have revealed more bodies than have been found in decades and have done so just when modern technologies have developed, which allows us to study the lives of individuals through their skeletal remains.
What makes the Vesuvian bodies crucial is that a range of individuals who didn’t die of natural causes have been uncovered, meaning that archaeologists can study a pool of ordinary, healthy people.
The incredible find in February 2019 of a seven or eight-year-old child in the Central Baths, a site that was thoroughly excavated in the 19th century, emphasises just how much archaeology has developed. Where archaeologists in the 19th century presumably left the skeleton in situ because they couldn’t make a good plaster cast of it, modern archaeologists have exhumed the skeleton because of the wealth of information it can provide.