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Excavated & Inferred!

They were lying in a layer of gray ash at least 2mt deep for the last 2,000 years, unnoticed! The Officials in Italy recently discovered their skeletal remains during excavation works at Pompeii Archaeological Park, a vast archaeological site in southern Italy’s Campania region, near the coast of the Bay of Naples. The Government of Italy has confirmed the news, mentioning in a statement that perhaps, the two men were trying to escape volcanic eruption in Pompeii nearly 2,000 years ago. According to the statement, the two bodies, lying next to one another on their backs, are believed to have been a rich man and his male slave. They had made an attempt to escape death from the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, but failed…

Pompeii Officials are of the opinion that there had been an elegant villa with a panoramic view of the Mediterranean Sea in the ancient Roman City that was destroyed by the Volcanic Eruption in AD 79. It seems that the two men had visited the villa to enjoy the scenic beauty when that incident took place. Earlier in 2017, a stable with the remains of three harnessed horses were excavated from the same area. Hence, the officials have come to the conclusion that it was a tourist spot with all sorts of facilities.

After discovering other remains at the Pompeii Site in past, archaeologists poured liquid chalk into the cavities, or void, left by the decaying bodies in the ash and pumice that rained down from the volcano near modern-day Naples and demolished the upper levels of the villa. The technique, invented in the 1800’s, gives the image not only of the shape and position of the victims in the throes of death, but also makes the remains “seem like statues”.

Talking to the media, Senior Archaeologist and Director General of the Archaeological Park Massimo Osanna said that judging by cranial bones and teeth, they came to know that one of the men was young, likely aged 18 to 25, with a spinal column with compressed discs. It means that he was a young man who did manual labour. Meanwhile, the other man had a robust bone structure, and he died with his hands on his chest and his legs bent and spread apart. He was most probably 30-40-years-old. Interestingly, the two skeletons were lying in a side room along an underground corridor, known as a cryptoporticus in ancient Roman times. It led to the upper level of the villa.

Osanna stressed: “The victims were probably looking for shelter in the cryptoporticus in this underground space, where they thought they were better protected.” He added that a “blazing cloud of volcanic material arrived in Pompeii and killed anyone it encountered on its way” on the morning of October 25, 79 AD. The impression of fabric folds left in the ash layer has helped the Archaeologists reveal that the younger person was wearing a short, pleated tunic, possibly of wool; while the older man had a mantle over his left shoulder, apart from wearing a tunic.

Excavation works are still going on at the site near Naples, as the concerned authorities have asked tourists not to visit the Archaeological Park as a part of National Anti-COVID-19 measures…

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