Why weren't the clothes of the Pompeii victims destroyed by the heat of a pyroclastic current?
Footage of the casts of the victims of Pompeii show that the clothes worn by the victims are intricately preserved, which initially presented scientists with some challenges to the idea that death was due to intense and sudden heat from a pyroclastic current.
An experiment in a laboratory at Edinburgh University is used to explain how the woollen clothes worn by the inhabitants of Pompeii could have survived. Pieces of pork are wrapped in the cloth and then exposed to intense infra-red radiation for 150 seconds. The wool is slightly charred but remains intact, despite the edge of the pork being heated to between 200 to 250 degrees Celsius, which would have caused death.