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The Other Pompeii: Life & Death in Herculaneum (2013)

On the 24th August 79 AD, the eruption of Vesuvius eradicated the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Exactly what forces did our planet unleash to kill so many people? Using modern science, the mysteries of the devastation are revealed.

Director:

Paul Elston

Writer:

Paul Elston
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Cast

Credited cast:
Andrew Wallace-Hadrill ... Himself - Presenter (as Prof. Andrew Wallace-Hadrill)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Luca Bondioli Luca Bondioli ... Himself - Anthropologist
Luciano Fattore Luciano Fattore ... Himself - Anthropologist
Mark Robinson Mark Robinson ... Himself - Environmental Archaeology, University of Oxford (as Prof. Mark Robinson)
Erica Rowan Erica Rowan ... Herself - Graduate Student, University of Oxford
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Storyline

On the 24th August 79 AD, the eruption of Vesuvius eradicated the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Exactly what forces did our planet unleash to kill so many people? Using modern science, the mysteries of the devastation are revealed.

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Genres:

Documentary

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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 April 2013 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

A másik Pompeji: Élet és halál Herculaneumban See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Brave New Media See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color
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User Reviews

 
Bizarre Insight into the World of the Eccentric Archaeologist
17 June 2014 | by l_rawjalaurenceSee all my reviews

The subject of this documentary is a straightforward one: presenter Andrew Wallace-Hadrill introduces us to the treasures of Herculaneum, the city close to Pompeii that suffered a similar fate as a result of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, but which was covered under a far thicker layer of lava and other materials. As a result the city has been more perfectly preserved: through the work of dedicated archaeologists we can find out what Roman life was 'really' like. Wallace-Hadrill is certainly thorough in his coverage; with the help of other archaeologists he tells us about social life, food rituals, marriage and the life of the so-called 'lower' classes as well as the bourgeoisie. At times, however, the subject-matter of this program borders on the truly bizarre. We see two archaeologists enthusiastically examining pieces of ancient Roman excrement, to see what their diet was 'really' like. With needle-like precision they cut open each stool and examine it under a microscope. One wonders whether our descendants will do the same thing 2000 years later: should we store our waste products in plastic bags (or better still, air-tight casks) so as to render their task easier? Of perhaps more significance, however, is the way Wallace-Hadrill positions himself as the well-meaning Brit, speaking pidgin Italian with the natives and laughing at his cultural foibles as he tries to explain the differences between contemporary and ancient Roman eating habits. By doing so he constructs himself as the imperialist; the all-knowing seer possessed with the breadth of historical knowledge denied to the Italian citizens. As a result the documentary comes across as yet another attempt to reinforce western European (specifically British) colonial values - even if they didn't manage to create a civilization like that of Ancient Rome, they are still possessed of sufficient expertise to explain it to us, the ignorant viewers.


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