I came across this photo today and it reminded me of how awesome of an artefact this is. This is a plaster cast of a man who died in Pompeii in 79AD.
When Vesuvius erupted and covered the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum, the lava and ash covered and hardened over the bodies of those who died. Their bodies degraded and decomposed, but the hardened lava still left a mould-like imprint of their body. When archaeologists were doing excavations, they kept coming across holes and they soon realized what they were. Plaster casts were made during the archaeological excavations and they are surprisingly realistic. When you are studying ancient times, there are no photos to help you relate to the humans you are studying, but this is pretty darn close.
The source for the photo above is Walter Rawlings/Robert Harding / Rex Features found in the Telegraph. The photo below is by Stephen Korte, taken at the site of the archaeological park at Pompeii.