The almost perfectly preserved remains of two men have been unearthed in an extraordinary discovery in the ancient Roman city of Pompeii.
The bodies of what is believed to be a wealthy man and his slave, believed to have died while fleeing the catastrophic eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79, were found during excavations at a villa on the outskirts of the city, officials from the archaeological park of Pompeii. Said yesterday.
Massimo Ossana, director of the park, said the find was “truly exceptional,” while Culture Minister Dario Franceschini said he underscored the importance of Pompeii as a place for study and research.
The two men, who were lying together, are believed to have escaped the initial phase of the eruption when the city was covered in volcanic ash and pumice, only to be killed in an explosion the next day.
His remains, for which molds have been made, were discovered in the same spot where a stable containing the remains of three harnessed horses was unearthed in 2017.
Experts said the young man, who was probably between the ages of 18 and 25, had several compressed vertebrae, leading them to believe he was a manual worker or slave. It is believed that he was wearing a pleated tunic, possibly made of wool.
The older man, aged between 30 and 40, had a stronger bone structure, particularly around the chest area, and also wore a robe. They were found lying in what would have been the hall of the villa.
Park officials said further investigation in the coming months could reveal where the men were headed and determine the roles they played in the posh villa.
It is the latest in a series of fascinating discoveries that excavations at Pompeii have produced in recent years.
The bodies of two women and three children were found crammed into the room of a villa in the Regio V area in October 2018. A week earlier, the same villa revealed a charcoal inscription suggesting that Vesuvius erupted in October AD 79, and not in August. of that year as previously thought.
The remains of a man, who is also believed to have survived the first part of the blast, were found in May 2018. His torso protruded from a large block of stone but, instead of being beheaded by him, archaeologists believe that was murdered. by the lethal gases of the last stages of the eruption. The victim, believed to be in his 30s, was also found with a small sack of 20 silver coins and two bronze coins, the equivalent of around 500 euros in current money.
The latest excavation, which is part of a 1 million euro project, continues despite the coronavirus pandemic. The park, which is currently closed to tourists, typically attracts four million people a year.
The ruins of Pompeii were discovered in the 16th century, and the first excavations began in 1748. More than 1,500 of the 2,000 estimated victims over the centuries have been found.
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