Pompeii unearths bodies of master and slave

Remigio Civitarese
Novembre 22, 2020

"This dig is very important, also due to touching discoveries of great emotional impact", said Pompeii Archaeological Park General Director Massimo Osanna.

The remains were found in an underground chamber in the area of a large villa where some archaeological discoveries were previously made.

Pompeii officials said the men apparently escaped the initial fall of ash before succumbing to a powerful volcanic blast that took place the next morning, reports the Associated Press.

Remains of two men who died in the volcanic eruption that destroyed the ancient Roman city of Pompeii in 79 AD in Pompeii, Italy November 18, 2020. The later blast "apparently invaded the area from many points, surrounding and burying the victims in ash", the officials said. The remains are believed to be of a rich man and his male slave attempting to escape death from the eruption of the volcano.

Judging by cranial bones and skull, one of the victims was a youth, likely aged 18 to 25, with a spinal column with compressed discs.

That finding led archaeologists to hypothesise that the young man did manual labour, like that of a slave.

Pompeii
Remains of two victims in Pompeii Twitter Pompeii Sites

The other man was older, 30 to 40 years old, and had a robust bone structure.

Pompeii, 23 km southeast of Naples, was home to about 13,000 people when the eruption buried it under under ash, pumice pebbles and dust, freezing it in time.

The officials stated that fragments of white paint were found near the middle-aged man's face that was possibly the remnants of a collapsed upper wall. Impressions of fabric folds in the ash layer suggest he was wearing a short, pleated tunic.

"The two victims are an extraordinary testament to the morning of the eruption on October 25 (in 79 AD)", Osanna continued, adding that they "were probably looking for shelter underground (when they) were engulfed by the flow of lava". The older victim, in addition to wearing a tunic, appeared to have had a mantle over his left shoulder, said reports.

While excavations continue at the site near Naples, tourists are now barred from the archaeological park under national anti-COVID-19 measures.

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