A hypothesis of sudden body fluid vaporization in the 79 AD victims of Vesuvius

In AD 79 the town of Herculaneum was suddenly hit and overwhelmed by volcanic ash-avalanches that killed all its remaining residents, as also occurred in Pompeii and other settlements as far as 20 kilometers from Vesuviu
In AD 79 the town of Herculaneum was suddenly hit and overwhelmed by volcanic ash-avalanches that killed all its remaining residents, as also occurred in Pompeii and other settlements as far as 20 kilometers from Vesuvius. New investigations on the victims' skeletons unearthed from the ash deposit filling 12 waterfront chambers have now revealed widespread preservation of atypical red and black mineral residues encrusting the bones, which also impregnate the ash filling the intracranial cavity and the ash-bed encasing the skeletons. Here we show the unique detection of large amounts of iron and iron oxides from such residues, as revealed by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry and Raman microspectroscopy, thought to be the final products of heme iron upon thermal decomposition. The extraordinarily rare preservation of significant putative evidence of hemoprotein thermal degradation from the eruption victims strongly suggests the rapid vaporization of body fluids and soft tissues of people at death due to exposure to extreme heat.
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Metadaten
Author:Pierpaolo Petrone, Piero Pucci, Alessandro Vergara, Angela Amoresano, Leila Birolo, Francesca Pane, Francesco Sirano, Massimo Niola, Claudio Buccelli, Vincenzo Graziano
URN:urn:nbn:de:hebis:30:3-525490
DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0203210
ISSN:1932-6203
Pubmed Id:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=30256793
Parent Title (English):PLoS one
Publisher:PLoS
Place of publication:Lawrence, Kan.
Contributor(s):Siân Halcrow
Document Type:Article
Language:English
Year of Completion:2018
Date of first Publication:2018/09/26
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2020/01/27
Tag:Archaeology; Bone; Bone fracture; Iron oxides; Magnetite; Skeleton; Skull; Volcanoes
Volume:13
Issue:(9): e0203210
Pagenumber:27
First Page:1
Last Page:27
Note:
Copyright: © 2018 Petrone et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
HeBIS PPN:459328395
Institutes:Extern
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medizin und Gesundheit
930 Geschichte des Altertums bis ca. 499, Archäologie
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung 4.0

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