Pompeii is one of the world’s largest archaeological sites, and still today researchers work there on a regular basis. Philippe sets out to meet these researchers and inquires about the health of the inhabitants of the towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum.
Philippe goes back over the circumstances of the catastrophe whilst climbing the slopes of Vesuvius and retracing the journey of Pliny the Elder in the Bay of Naples. He meets Yves Ubelman, who has used powerful algorithms to reconstitute maps and a digital image reconstitution of the Pompeii ruins. Then, with Hélène Dessales, Philippe examines the highly sophisticated system of water distribution at the Roman sites. For several years, anthropologist Luigi Capasso had studied the skeletons of Herculaneum. He tells Philippe of the extraordinary discoveries he has made regarding the consequences of the catastrophe and the health of the town’s inhabitants.