ROME – Skeleton remains of what is believed to be a rich man and his slave man have been found in Pompeii trying to escape death from the eruption of Vesuvius nearly 2,000 years ago, officials at an archeological park in Italy said.
Parts of the skulls and bones of the two men were discovered during excavations of the ruins of a once elegant villa with panoramic views of the Mediterranean Sea on the outskirts of an ancient Roman city destroyed by a volcanic eruption in 79 AD the same area , where in 2017 a stable with the remains of three harnessed horses was excavated.
Representatives of Pompeii said the men apparently escaped the initial fall of ash from Vesuvius, after which they succumbed to a powerful volcanic eruption that occurred the next morning. The later blast “apparently invaded the area from many points, bypassing and burying the victims in ashes,”
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The remains of the two victims, lying side by side on their backs, were found in a layer of gray ash at least 6.5 feet deep, they said.
As was done when other remains were found at the site in Pompeii, archaeologists poured liquid chalk into the cavities or a gap left by decaying bodies in the ashes and pumice that rained down from the volcano near modern-day Naples and destroyed the upper levels of the villa.
The technique, introduced in 1800, not only depicts the shape and position of the victims in death, but makes the remains “look like statues,” said Massimo Osana, an archaeologist who is the director general of the archeological park under Italian jurisdiction. Ministry of Culture.
Judging by the skull and teeth, one of the men is young, probably aged 18 to 25, with a compressed disc spine. This discovery leads archaeologists to suggest that he was a young man who engaged in manual labor, similar to slavery.
The other man had a strong bone structure, especially in the chest area, and died with his arms around his chest and legs bent and spread. He is believed to have been between the ages of 30 and 40, Pompey officials said. Fragments of white paint, possibly the remains of a collapsed top wall, were found near the man’s face, officials said.
Both skeletons were found in a side room along an underground corridor or corridor known in ancient Roman times as a cryptoporticus leading to the upper level of the villa.
“Victims are probably seeking shelter in the crypto-porticus, in this underground space where they think they are better protected,” Ozana said.
Instead, “on the morning of October 25, 79 AD, a blazing cloud (of volcanic material) arrived in Pompeii and… Killed anyone it met along the way,” Osana said.