In Pompeii in southern Italy, archaeologists have found the remains of two people who died when Mount Vesuvius erupted around 2000 years ago.
The two men were discovered in a villa on the outskirts of the ancient city, it was announced on Saturday. The bodies were reconstructed using a plaster cast – which enabled conclusions to be drawn about the identity of the dead. The team used the technique developed by the researcher Giuseppe Fiorelli in the 19th century, in which plaster of paris is poured into the cavities that the bodies have left in the hardened lava.
It turned out that the men were lying on their backs. They were probably caught in the lava while trying to escape. Based on the plaster reconstructions, the researchers assume that they are the corpses of a rich man and a young slave.
The clothing and the compressed dorsal vertebrae on the young man’s skeleton indicate this, suggesting that he was doing hard work. The slave was probably between 18 and 25 years old, 1.56 meters tall and wore a short tunic.
The rich man was about 1.62 meters tall and around 40 years old. He wore a tunic and a cloak. The remains were found in a corridor below the villa. At the site in Civita Giuliana, around 700 meters north of Pompeii, a stable and the remains of three horses were discovered in 2017.
The ancient city of Pompeii sank into ashes after the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79. Almost four million people toured the archaeological site last year. In view of the corona pandemic, Pompeii is currently closed to visitors. (afp)