- The well-preserved remains of two men have been discovered in the Roman city of Pompeii, near Naples.
- The two bodies were killed in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD which covered the ancient city in volcanic ash and froze it in time.
- The bodies are thought to be of a wealthy man and a slave and were found in a villa on the outskirts of Pompeii.
- Massimo Osanna, director of Pompeii Archeological Park, called the discovery “truly exceptional.”
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The remains of two men who were killed in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD have been discovered in Pompeii.
Thought to be a master and his slave, the incredibly well-preserved bodies are considered a “truly exceptional” find by archaeologists.
When Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD, the ancient Roman city of Pompeii was covered in hot volcanic ash, killing an estimated 2,000 people and freezing the city in time.
The two latest bodies to be discovered were found during the excavation of a large villa on the outskirts of the city this month.
“These two victims were perhaps seeking refuge when they were swept away by the prognostic current at about 9 in the morning,” Massimo Osanna, director of Pompeii Archeological Park, told reporters, as per Reuters.
He continued: “It is a death by thermal shock, as also demonstrated by their clenched feet and hands.”
It’s likely the men survived the first eruption but were killed in a second blast, the Guardian reports.
The bodies were lying close together in an underground chamber of the villa, located in Civita Giuliana, which is roughly 700 meters north-west of the centre of Pompeii.
One of the bodies is thought to be a man of high status, aged between 30 and 40. There are traces of wool under his neck, he had a strong bone structure, and he was likely wearing a tunic.
The other body is believed to be of a younger man, aged 18-23, wearing a pleated tunic. He had compressed vertebrae, which suggests he was a manual laborer or slave.
Casts of the bodies have been created from the remains and their imprints in the hardened ash.
Osanna called the discovery “truly exceptional,” while Italian Culture Minister Dario Franceschini said in a statement that it highlighted Pompeii’s status as “an incredible place for research and study.”
The ruins of Pompeii were first discovered in the 16th century, with over 1,500 of the estimated 2,000 victims having now been found.
Pompeii Archeological Park is currently closed to visitors due to the coronavirus pandemic.