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Mary Beard on Pompeii's Showiest Family

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Mary Beard on Pompeii's Showiest Family

Short | 02:32

The Valentes were a wealthy family in Pompeii that used lavish, high-end parties to gain political clout. Classicist Mary Beard walks us through the remains of their opulent home and imagines what an evening in their company would be like.


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When Mount Vesuvius obliterated the city of Pompeii in 79 A.D., it preserved the bodies of about 2,000 victims, freezing them in their final moments. But who were these fated ancient Romans? To find out, forensic scientists will take CT scans and digital X-rays to reveal who these people were and how they lived before the eruption 1,700 years ago. Meanwhile, a team of architects and archaeologists will conduct traditional digs and use modern 3D mapping to reveal new evidence and dispel old myths about this doomed city.

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