BODIES FROM THE ASH by James M. Deem

BODIES FROM THE ASH

Life and Death in Ancient Pompeii
Age Range: 8 - 12

KIRKUS REVIEW

This fascinating exploration of the buried city of Pompeii begins with a recreation of the catastrophic eruption of Vesuvius and ends with a snapshot of Pompeii today. In between are packed details of the various excavations that have led to our current knowledge of both the life and death of the city. Weaving in the contemporary account of Younger Pliny and the archaeological evidence, the narrative meticulously describes the effects of the various stages of the eruption on the inhabitants and the topography of Pompeii and its neighboring communities. The city’s rediscovery receives equally careful coverage, a whole chapter covering Giuseppe Fiorelli’s revolutionary technique of creating plaster casts of the victims from the cavities left by their bodies. Avoiding the opportunity to sensationalize, Deem’s consistently respectful treatment places the humanity of the victims at the fore. One signal weakness, however, is that the photographs that generously illustrate this volume are not identified or dated within the caption, leaving readers in the dark as to what is archival and what is modern. (bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 24th, 2005
ISBN: 0-618-47308-4
Page count: 48pp
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15th, 2005




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