Pompeii: Archaeologists discover skeletons of two men killed in Vesuvius eruption
The skeletons of two middle-aged men have been newly discovered by archaeologists excavating the ruins of Pompeii.
The Italian Culture Ministry announced the fresh discovery on Tuesday, as work continues at the ancient Roman city which was wiped out when volcano Mount Vesuvius erupted nearly 2,000 years ago
The remains were recovered from a building known as the ‘House of the Painters at Work’, and are thought to belong to two men in their 50s who died in an earthquake that accompanied the volacnic eruption, a ministry statement said.
Pompeii Archaeological Park Director Gabriel Zuchtriegel said the men were killed not by volcanic ash but by collapsing buildings, noting that wall fragments were found between their fractured bones.
“Modern excavation techniques help us to better understand the inferno that completely destroyed the city of Pompeii over two days, killing many inhabitants”, he said.
Pompeii, 14 miles southeast of Naples, was home to around 13,000 people in the year 79AD, when it was buried under ash, pumice pebbles and dust as it endured the force of an eruption equivalent to many atomic bombs.
The Culture Ministry said “at least 15-20 per cent of the population” was killed. Over the past two-and-a-half centuries, archaeologists have recovered the remains of more than 1,300 victims.
New discovery: two skeletons found beneath a collapsed wall in #Pompeii.
Turmoil, confusion, attempted escapes and, in the meantime, an earthquake, showers of pumice, volcanic ash and hot gases. pic.twitter.com/L1SKEulWCL
— Pompeii Sites (@pompeii_sites) May 16, 2023
The Pompeii site, not discovered until the 16th century, has seen a burst of recent archaeological activity aimed at halting years of decay and neglect, largely thanks to a recently concluded 105 million euro (more than £91 million) EU-funded project.
Italian Culture Minister Gennaro Sangiuliano said conservation and archaeological research efforts would continue.
“The discovery of these two skeletons shows us that we still need to study a lot, do more excavations to bring out everything that is still (hiding) in this immense treasure,” he said.