Pompeii Pottery Workshop Frozen in Time: Photos

See photos of vases and kilns as they dropped and abandoned as Mt. Vesuvius' erupted in 79 A.D.

[slideshow 11977]

Archaeologists found 10 raw clay vases sealed under a layer of ash and pumice from Mount Vesuvius' devastating eruption of 79 AD. The vases were dropped and abandoned. Here, a kiln (left) and the vases appear ready to be fired (right).

The 10 raw clay vases represent a unique finding as they reveal a frozen-in-time picture of the exact moment panicked potters realized they were facing an impending catastrophe.

Decorated with small carvings, the vases were used to pour wine or water.

According to Pompeii's archaeological superintendent, the vases are direct evidence that the workshop was fully active at the moment of the eruption. "They represent a key element in the study of craft activities in the Roman town," the superintendent said in a statement.