Archaeologists find deaths from volcanic eruptions around 2000 years old

AArchaeologists in Pompeii have succeeded in the sensational reconstruction of two ancient victims of the historical volcanic disaster on the Gulf of Naples. The remains of the two men, who are believed to have been surprised by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius on October 25, 79 AD, were found during excavations in the area of ​​a suburban villa, as the museum in Pompeii reported on Saturday.

Accordingly, the scientists assume that it is the corpses of an elderly rich man and a young slave. The clothing and the compressed vertebrae on the boy’s skeleton, which indicate heavy physical work, provide evidence of this. The dead were found in a corridor below the villa, where the two men may have tried to flee the eruption and hide. The alleged slave was probably between 18 and 25 years old, 1.56 meters tall and wore a short tunic. Its owner was about 1.62 meters tall and around 40 years old. He wore a tunic and a cloak.

The results now presented on the men were made possible because the skeletons were located in the cavities under solidified volcanic ash, it said. The researchers also used lasers and computer animations for this purpose, and casts of the bodies could then be made using a method that had been in use for a long time. When the scientists presented the results, they were thrilled by how much detail they were able to uncover about the duo. The excavations at the villa in Civita Giulina, around 700 meters northwest of Pompeii, had been going on for some time. In 2017 horse remains were also discovered there.

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Legions in marble
Image: from the book “The Trajan’s Column”

Italy’s Minister of Culture Dario Franceschini spoke of an “extraordinary discovery”. The museum grounds of the ancient Roman city of Pompeii are closed because of the corona pandemic – like all museums in Italy. But the research continues.

Pompeii was sunk in the eruptions of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. Ash, mud and lava buried the settlements. The historic city was rediscovered in the 18th century. Since then, new insights have come to light again and again. The archaeological site is one of the most popular attractions in Italy.


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