Futility Closet book ad

The Dog of Pompeii

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Rive,_Roberto_(18..-1889)_-_n._493_-_Cane_morto_trovato_in_Pompei.jpg

When Vesuvius erupted on Aug. 24, A.D. 79, a Roman fuller named Vesonius Primus fled toward the sea, leaving a watchdog chained to a post in the atrium of his house. It appears that the dog managed to survive the night by climbing continuously atop the mounting ash, but at dawn it reached the limit of its chain and was buried alive.

Like other victims of the eruption, its body left a vacancy in the ash layer, so a plaster cast could be made of its final position.