Archaeologists have discovered well-preserved remains of a possibly rich man and his slave scalded to death by Mount Vesuvius’ eruption nearly 2,000 years ago in Italy. The remains were found in a layer of grey ash at least 2 metres deep. Researchers said one of the men was estimated to be 18-25-years-old, while the other 30-40-years-old. The skeletal remains were found in the underground chamber of a villa on the outskirts of the ancient city. The men escaped the first volcanic eruption that destroyed the city, but succumbed to a blast the next day.
In a statement issued by Pompeii officials, they said that the men apparently escaped the initial fall of ash from Mount Vesuvius but then succumbed to a powerful volcanic blast that took place the next morning. The later blast “apparently invaded the area from many points, surrounding and burying the victims in ash,” the officials said. rchaeologists to hypothesize that he was a young man who did manual labor, like that of a slave. The other man had a robust bone structure, especially in his chest area, and died with his hands on his chest and his legs bent and spread apart. He was estimated to have been 30- to 40-years-old, Pompeii officials said. Fragments of white paint were found near the man’s face, probably remnants of a collapsed upper wall, the officials said.
Based on the impression of fabric folds left in the ash layer, it appeared the younger man was wearing a short, pleated tunic, possibly of wool. The older victim, in addition to wearing a tunic, appeared to have had a mantle over his left shoulder, said reports.
According to a report by The Associated Press, both skeletons were found in a side room along an underground corridor, or passageway, known in ancient Roman times as a cryptoporticus, which led to to the upper level of the villa. Osanna further stated, “The victims were probably looking for shelter in the cryptoporticus, in this underground space, where they thought they were better protected. Instead, on the morning of Oct. 25, 79 A.D., a blazing cloud (of volcanic material) arrived in Pompeii and…killed anyone it encountered on its way.”
The famous Mount Vesuvius is located near Naples in Italy and is well known throughout the world for its massive destructive eruption. It is also known as Vesuvio among the locals and stands 4,203 feet (1,281 meters) tall and has a semi-circular ridge called Mount Soma that rises 3,714 feet.
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