Archaeologists discovered the remains of two people who were most likely victims of the Mount Vesuvius eruption in 79 AD in the ancient city of Pompeii.
The skeletons were found in the Insula dei Casti Amanti, an area of Pompeii that consists of several houses. The individuals are believed to be two men who were in their mid-50s.
During the excavation, the researchers stumbled upon the well-preserved remains lying beneath a collapsed wall. The injuries on their bones suggest that the men died due to multiple injuries sustained when the building they were taking shelter in collapsed during the initial stage of the volcanic eruption.
One of the men had attempted to protect himself from the falling debris by raising his arm. It is presumed that the wall collapsed before the city was buried under the pyroclastic flows that were triggered by the volcanic eruption.
‘Human mortality is so fragile’
The director of Pompeii archaeological park, Gabriel Zuchtriegel, expressed the profound impact of the recent discovery, emphasizing the tragic human aspect of the catastrophe.
He stated that unearthing human remains is a somber reminder of the fragility of human life. Through the advancement of excavation techniques, the true extent of the inferno that engulfed the city in just two days became increasingly visible.
In addition to the victims, several artifacts were found in the same room, including beads from a necklace and six coins.
Two of the coins date back to the middle of the second century BC, providing valuable insights into the historical context.
Culture Minister Gennaro Sangiuliano highlighted the significance of Pompeii as a vast archaeological laboratory. In recent years, it has regained momentum, astonishing the world with continuous discoveries that showcase Italy’s excellence in the field.
The ruins of Pompeii were initially uncovered in the 16th century, and excavations commenced in 1748. Over the centuries, more than 1,500 out of the estimated 2,000 victims have been found, contributing to the understanding of this ancient tragedy.
Past excavations in Pompeii
The most recent unearthing of human remains took place in 2020. During excavations at a villa located on the outskirts of Pompeii, the skeletons of two men were discovered. It is believed that these individuals were a wealthy man and his slave.
Tragically, they met their demise after surviving the initial phase of the eruption that buried the city under layers of volcanic ash and pumice. Their lives were cut short by a subsequent blast that occurred the following day.
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