Bodies of man along with his slave unearthed through ashes at Pompeii

ROME (AP) — Skeletal remains of what are believed to have been a rich man along with his male slave attempting to escape death through the eruption of Mount Vesuvius nearly 2,000 years ago have been discovered in Pompeii, officials at the archaeological park in Italy said Saturday.

Parts of the skulls along with bones of the two men were found during excavation of the ruins through what was once an elegant villa having a panoramic view of the Mediterranean Sea on the outskirts of the ancient Roman city destroyed by the volcano eruption in 79 A.D. of which’s the same area where a stable with the remains of three harnessed horses were excavated in 2017.

Pompeii officials said the men apparently escaped the initial fall of ash through Mount Vesuvius then succumbed to a powerful volcanic blast of which took place the next morning. The later blast “apparently invaded the area through many points, surrounding along with burying the victims in ash,” Pompeii officials said in a statement.

The remains of the two victims, lying next to each some other on their backs, were found in a layer of gray ash at least 2 meters (6.5 feet) deep, they said.

As has been done when some other remains have been discovered at the Pompeii site, archaeologists poured liquid chalk into the cavities, or void, left by the decaying bodies from the ash along with pumice of which rained down through the volcano near modern-day Naples along with demolished the upper levels of the villa.

The technique, pioneered from the 1800s, gives the image not only of the shape along with position of the victims from the throes of death, although makes the remains “seem like statues,” said Massimo Osanna, an archaeologist who can be director general of the archaeological park operated under the jurisdiction of the Italian Culture Ministry.

Judging by cranial bones along with teeth, one of the men was young, likely aged 18 to 25, having a spinal column with compressed discs. of which finding led archaeologists to hypothesize of which he was a young man who did manual labor, like of which of a slave.

The some other man had a robust bone structure, especially in his chest area, along with died with his hands on his chest along with his legs bent along with spread apart. He was estimated to have been 30- to 40-years-old, Pompeii officials said. Fragments of white paint were found near the man’s face, probably remnants of a collapsed upper wall, the officials said.

Both skeletons were found in a side room along an underground corridor, or passageway, known in ancient Roman times as a cryptoporticus, which led to to the upper level of the villa.

“The victims were probably looking for shelter from the cryptoporticus, in This kind of underground space, where they thought they were better protected,” said Osanna.

Instead, on the morning of Oct. 25, 79 A.D., a “blazing cloud (of volcanic material) arrived in Pompeii along with…killed anyone of which encountered on its way,” Osanna said.

Based on the impression of fabric folds left from the ash layer, of which appeared the younger man was wearing a short, pleated tunic, possibly of wool. The older victim, in addition to wearing a tunic, appeared to have had a mantle over his left shoulder.

Mount Vesuvius remans an active volcano. While excavations continue at the site near Naples, tourists are currently barred through the archaeological park under national anti-COVID-19 measures.

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