Excavations of ruins about 700 meters (about 2,300 feet) northwest of Pompeii have uncovered two skeletons lying side by side in a layer of gray ash at least 6 meters (2 meters) deep.
Archaeologists have poured plaster into the voids left by the decaying bodies in the ashes. This technique, introduced in 1800, better shows the bodies of victims, but also makes the remains “look like statues,” Massimo Osana, an archaeologist who is the director of the archeological park operating under the jurisdiction of the Italian ministry, told the AP. of culture. News.
The skeletons were found in a side room of a suburban villa along an underground corridor called a cryptoporticus.
“Victims are probably seeking shelter in the crypto-porticus, in this underground space where they think they are better protected,” Osana said.
Studying the skulls and teeth, archaeologists have found that one of the men was between 18 and 25 years old. The young man also had a spine with compressed discs, which led archaeologists to suggest that he may have done manual labor as a slave.
The impression of folds of fabric left in the ash layer also indicates that the younger man may have been wearing a short, pleated wool tunic.
The other male skeleton had a strong bone structure, especially in the chest area. He is believed to have been between 30 and 40 years old. He may have worn a tunic as well as a cloak over his left shoulder.
Archaeologists believe the two men died suddenly, according to a statement, not during the first eruption, but instead during the second pyroclastic flow, a violent, vigorous flow that struck Pompeii and the surrounding area in the early hours of October 25, which leads to the deaths of survivors who were still in the city and countryside.