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Cast of the body of a person killed in the ancient Roman city of Pompeii in southern Italy by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. In the first century AD Pompeii was a flourishing coastal resort populated by wealthy Romans. It was decimated in AD 79 by an eruption of Mount Vesuvius that covered the city in wet ashes and cinders. Many of the victims and buildings were well preserved and have been revealed by a series of excavations.