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Along with these are the plaster casts made from almost perfect molds left in the solidified ash by the bodies of those caught in the sudden destruction.As these spaces were found by excavators, they were carefully filled with plaster, forming images of the victims as they tried to escape.In many of the houses, the upper story, with its balconies and loggias, has been preserved by girders, giving a better idea of how these looked two millennia ago.Mosaics, statues, frescoes, and furnishings are still here, along with election posters and other casual inscriptions painted on the walls.At the corner to its right is the Macellum, a hall for selling food.Various shrines, temples, and other buildings surround the Forum - the Shrine of the Lares; the Temple of Vespasian; a hall for selling wool; and the Curia, where the town council met.Early excavators took everything to the museum in Naples, but archaeologists since 1911 have left artifacts in place, making the more recently excavated areas the most interesting.Expect to be surprised at how vivid an impression of ancient life you get in its homes, shops, and public places.
Interior rooms are decorated with scenes from Homer's and the peristyle is surrounded by a beautiful painted colonnade.
This part of the town dates from Pompeii's final period, and most of the homes and shops belonged to tradesmen.
Look for an ironmonger's shop and a fuller's and dyer's workshop (Fullonica di Stefano), with two restored pressing machines.
It's easy to see why this is one of Italy's most popular attractions for tourists.
Only 16 years before its destruction, Pompeii was badly damaged by an earthquake from which its population of 20,000 had not yet finished rebuilding.