Petrified horses found

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Petrified horses found

Postby zetreque on December 23rd, 2018, 10:28 pm 

Looks like fox news is the first to run this story?

Petrified horse remains found in stable near Pompeii
https://www.foxnews.com/science/petrifi ... ar-pompeii

So my question is. Doesn't it take much longer than 2000 years to get petrified remains?
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Re: Petrified horses found

Postby toucana on December 23rd, 2018, 10:49 pm 

Petrification is the wrong term. That refers to a slow process of mineralization by fluid permeation in which organic material eventually becomes a stone fossil.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petrifaction

The horses discovered at Pompeii were killed, like the human victims, by ash fall and super-heated pyroclastic flows from the volcanic eruption of Vesuvius in AD 79.

http://www.slate.com/blogs/atlas_obscura/2015/03/12/plaster_casts_of_victims_bodies_at_pompeii_in_italy.html

What happened was that those organic remains were very quickly reduced to skeletons. But centuries later archaeologists noticed that void spaces in the ash had been created by the destruction of the organic tissue, and they realised that they could pour plaster of Paris into these void spaces to recover the sculptural shape of the human or animal form that had existed at the moment when it was entombed in the hot ash.

The 'petrified' horses shown in the photographs are actually plaster casts of the negative void spaces found in the solid ash residues in the stables of a Roman villa at Pompeii.
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Re: Petrified horses found

Postby zetreque on December 24th, 2018, 3:12 am 

I figured it was just another botched misinformation headline.

That's cool about how the ash formed molds. I don't see how the full body voids would have stayed if the bodies were "quickly" turned to skeletons though.
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Re: Petrified horses found

Postby toucana on December 24th, 2018, 4:42 am 

"Quickly" is a relative term here (as opposed to the timescales of millennia needed for petrification).

I think the mould forming properties of hot ash and pyroclastic muds resemble those of the cire perdue or 'Lost wax' methods of bronze copy-casting where a sacrificial model made of wax is rapidly destroyed by heat leaving a perfect negative image void space within the mould.

In the case of the Pompeii figurines, the positive image replica is only created much later by archaeologists pouring plaster of Paris into the void space.
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Re: Petrified horses found

Postby toucana on December 24th, 2018, 6:48 am 

Here is the BBC version of the story.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-46671050

The site is at the North of Pompeii in the grounds of Villa dei Misteri (Villa of Mysteries) according to Massimo Ossana, the director of Pompeii's archaeological park.
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