ROME (AP) – Skeletal remains of what is believed to have been a rich man and his male slave trying to escape death from the eruption of Mount Vesuvius almost 2,000 years ago have been discovered in Pompeii, officials at the Archaeological Park said in a statement. Italy Saturday.
Parts of the two men’s skulls and bones were found during the excavation of the ruins of what was once an elegant villa with panoramic views of the Mediterranean on the outskirts of the ancient Roman city destroyed by the volcanic eruption in 79 AD. It is the same area where a stable with the remains of three exploited horses was excavated in 2017.
Pompeii officials said the men apparently escaped the first ash fall from Mount Vesuvius and then succumbed to a powerful volcanic eruption that took place the next morning. The later explosion “apparently invaded the area from many points and surrounded and buried the victims in ashes,”
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The remains of the two victims lying next to each other on their backs were found in a layer of gray ash at least 2 meters deep, they said.
As has been done when other remains have been discovered at the Pompeii site, archaeologists poured liquid chalk into the cavities or cavities left by the dilapidated bodies in the ash and pumice that rained down from the volcano near present-day Naples and demolished upper levels of the villa .
The technique, which was groundbreaking in the 1800s, not only paints the picture of the victims’ shape and position in the death, but makes the remains “act like statues,” said Massimo Osanna, an archaeologist who is the director general of archeology. park operated under the jurisdiction of the Italian Ministry of Culture.
Judging by cranial bones and teeth, one of the men was young, probably aged 18 to 25, with a spine with compressed discs. This finding led archaeologists to assume that he was a young man working manually as a slave.
The other man had a robust bone structure, especially in the chest area, and died with his hands on his chest and his legs bent and spread apart. He is estimated to have been 30-40 years old, Pompeii officials said. Fragments of white paint were found near the man’s face, probably remnants of a collapsed wall, officials said.
Both skeletons were found in a side room along an underground corridor or passage that in ancient times became known as a cryptoporticus, leading to the upper level of the villa.
“The victims were probably looking for shelter in the cryptoporticus, in this underground space where they thought they were better protected,” Osanna said.
Instead, on the morning of October 25, 79 AD. arrived a “flaming cloud (of volcanic material) to Pompeii and … killed anyone it encountered along the way,” Osanna said.
Based on the impression of fabric folds left in the ash layer, it looked like the younger man was wearing a short, pleated tunic, possibly of wool. The elderly victim in addition to wearing a tunic appeared to have had a cloak over his left shoulder.
Mount Vesuvius remnants an active volcano. While excavations continue at the site near Naples, tourists are currently excluded from the archeological park under national anti-COVID-19 measures.