POMPEII is the ultimate archaeological site, expert Dr Estelle Lazer says.
The internationally renowned archaeologist, best known for her work on the human remains from Pompeii, has shared insights with HSC students about the ancient archaeological sites of Pompeii and Herculaneum.
The Roman towns were buried by ash when Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79AD.
Dr Lazer’s talks at MacKillop College on November 22 included details about the eruption, how the victims died and what can be learnt from the victims’ bones.
Plaster was used to fill the voids in the ash layers to reveal casts of the victims from Pompeii.
Dr Lazer said when the plaster casts were first made, they instantly captured the public’s imagination.
Scientific analysis of the human remains came later.
Some 86 of the 103 casts were recently restored.
In 2015, Dr Lazer was appointed as a consultant for the Pompeii Cast Restoration Project by the Italian government.
Dr Lazer and her team were given the opportunity to use CT scans and x-ray technology to shed new light about the victims.
Dr Lazer appeared in the BBC documentary, Pompeii: New Secrets Revealed, along with her team, to help the well-known television presenter Mary Beard unpick the remains preserved at Pompeii.
MacKillop College ancient history teacher Alan Wheatland said speakers of Dr Lazer’s calibre rarely came to regional areas.
“We’ve made sure we try to give regional students access to high calibre speakers as much as the city students,” he said.
Students from the Great Lakes to Taree and Port Macquarie attended the lectures.
Dr Lazer is an honorary research associate at the University of Sydney’s Department of Classics and Ancient History.
She has been the academic guide for MacKillop College and St Joseph’s Regional High School groups when they toured Italy, visiting Pompeii and Herculaneum, in past years and will do so in January 2017.