Who Discovered the Pompeians?

During excavations on the archaeological site of Pompeii in 1865, they thought to get a cast from the impression left in ashes by a wood door. From that day there were several others tempted like this but all with poor results. Other attempts were made before in 1831 in order to take human plaster casts from the ashes or partial as the cast of a woman in the Domus of the Faun.
Another test was repeated in 1861 on the natural molds left in the ashes by a woman holding a box with jewels.
From these attempts Giuseppe Fiorelli (Naples 1823-Naples 1896) accomplished a very brilliant idea. In this way on 3 febbrary 1863 this meticulous archaeologist perfected the technique of casting and was able to get the first decent plaster cast of one of the victims of the eruption of Vesuvius occurred in 79 a.C. During an excavation between the Insulae VII 10 and VII 14 (which than was called street of skeletons) plaster was poured into a cavity of the ashes compact, recognized as the cavity of the impression left by a charred body. Breaking the mass of ash (like a waste mold) they got the plaster cast of a man lying on his back; a woman who had fallen on its side; a girl dropped her head on his left arm; a woman called ‘pregnant’ for the swollen belly. Even if they reported some defect due to technical execution still imperfect the casts were immediately on display in the Antiquarium. This was a very important event in the history of the excavations of Pompeii and the technique of excavation and restoration. From that moment on, the practice continues to this day.