Bodies from the Ash: Life and Death in Ancient Pompeii

Bodies from the Ash: Life and Death in Ancient Pompeii

by James M. Deem


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In ancient times, Pompeii was one of the largest cities in the Roman Empire. Its 20,000 inhabitants lived in the shadow of Vesuvius, which they believed was a mountain. But Vesuvius was an active volcano, and within twenty-four hours of its eruption, the city was destroyed. Hundreds of years later, archaeologists unearthed what was buried under the rubble. The most unexpected and extraordinary discovery? The imprints of Pompeiians, their deaths captured as if by photographic images in volcanic ash.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781328740830
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date: 10/03/2017
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 64
Sales rank: 266,313
Product dimensions: 10.80(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range: 10 - 12 Years

About the Author

James M. Deem is the author of numerous books for young readers, including Bodies from the Ice, Bodies from the Bog, and Faces from the Past. He lives outside of Phoenix, Arizona. 

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Bodies from the Ash: Life and Death in Ancient Pompeii 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
perihan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I believe the author wrote this book because he was fascinated with the fact that the city with its people was preserved by ashes for thousands of years. This book explains in details the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD that killed most of its residents and the excavations that brought the city to light. Pompeii was the one of the largest cities near the mountain that was inhabited by 20,000 people. The entire city was lost until 1763 when it was identified as Pompeii. The excavation began but the purpose of it was to find riches that were left by the misfortunate citizens of the city instead of finding an answer to what happened to people. The scientists continued excavating the site from 1771 to 1984. These excavations discovered the entire city and its people that were preserved by the ashes of Mount Vesuvius. Because of the preserved bodies and sites, the scientists were able to gain more in-depth information about the city. Today, the city is a large tourist attraction.
MartyAllen on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book presents the story of Pompeii¿s discovery through an array of pictures and informative text. This book is very in-depth, including information even those who have read thoroughly on the subject may not have known. Included are details regarding the plastering process and the story behind the discovery of the city throughout its stages. Textboxes allow for certain points to be explored more thoroughly, and the many pictures present clear and informative images of the plasters taken at the site. A bibliography at the end gives readers places to look for further information. A map of the archaeological dig sites allow the reader to picture the discoveries made as he reads about them. However, though the images and format are clearly designed for children, the information within is written so dryly, its target audience may be turned off. It is very factual, with little narrative within to engage the reader, which will bore many children. Older children, or those interested in the topic, may enjoy the comprehensiveness, but others will find this book more difficult than it appears.
Bamulholland on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An introduction to the history of Pompeii, the town in the ancient Roman empire that was covered in the eruption of the volcano Vesuvius. There are pictures on every page--it's very affecting emotionally and intellectually. It's a fascinating introduction to archaeology and history.
frood42 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD left the city of Pompeii buried, not to be rediscovered until the eighteenth century. Ongoing excavations at the site reveal information about how people in Pompeii lived and died. This is a very interesting non-fiction book that delves into the workings of volcanoes, archaeological methods and history, as well classical history. The last few days of Pompeii are described in detail, drawing on the writings of Pliny, and present day knowledge of the workings of volcanoes. Skeletons, artifacts, and plaster casts made of the volcano's victims are used to construct a story of life in Pompeii and the city's final days. The drama of the disaster and morbid curiosity will draw kids in and keep readers' interest, though the discussion of the remains found at the sites is respectful and not sensationalized. Plenty of photographs illustrate the text, including pictures from an early archaeological dig at Pompeii and a 20th century eruption of Vesuvius, as well as images of the skeletons, plaster casts, and artifacts. The arrangement of the book is attractive and accessible. Difficult words are defined, and a bibliography and index are included. This is a compelling non-fiction read for fourth through sixth graders.
mks27 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This work of children¿s non-fiction tells about the ancient Roman city of Pompeii and its destruction by a volcanic cloud created by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. The author presents this tragedy in a chronological order of events. Although the book thoroughly covers the history of this disaster, the author gives special focus to the human remains found in the ruins and the story they might tell. He clearly notes what a fact is and what speculation is. Included in the book are many helpful resources for further study to increase the readers understanding of the topic. Nevertheless, the author¿s writing is at times flat and I struggled to connect with human side of this momentous historical event. However, the images presented are dramatic and moving and offer the emotional connection the writing did not.
NathanielLouisWood on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Bodies From the Ash is a well sourced and well written book describing what is know of the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 CE, and the excavations of the major cities that were buried under pumice and ash. The text is easy to read and understand even without prior knowledge of the subject matter.