Archeologists working at Pompeii discovered the bodies of the inhabitants.
As the pyroclastic cloud enveloped the town at great speed people were instantly killed by the great heat and covered in a thick layer of ash. Over the centuries their soft tissues decayed away leaving their skeletons within the space their bodies had occupied. By pouring in plaster of Paris into these spaces it was possible to see the form of the trapped people.
It makes for a very salutary experience to look at these people. The imagination starts to work. One can imagine the horror as they were encapsulated by that superheated cloud of ash. It is frozen there in time.