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It is quite probable that he was running as fast as possible, to save his life. He was holding a leather bag, containing a ring in a wooden box, close to his chest. Although the sea was a few feet away, a ball of fire struck him, and his body was instantly scorched by lava ash and poisonous gas! Archaeologists could unearth the skeleton of another victim of the volcanic eruption of Vesuvius, while carrying out excavation works in Herculaneum, an ancient town, located in the modern-day comune of Ercolano, Campania, Italy.

Herculaneum was buried under volcanic ash and pumice in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79. The volcanic eruption also destroyed another coastal city, Pompeii. According to historians, the volcanic eruption reportedly claimed no less than 30,000 lives. Earlier, Reuters reported the discovery of a well-preserved skeleton in nearby Pompeii, stating that the skeleton, preserved at a burial site, could shed new light on funeral rites and cultural activity in the doomed, ancient Roman city.

Since the beginning of excavation works at the Herculaneum in the late 1980s, archaeologists have recovered numerous skeletons. They believe that the recently recovered skeleton is the latest one. Archaeologists are of the opinion that the 40-45-year-old man was running towards the sea to escape from the volcanic eruption. Most of the skeletons, recovered in this Italian city, have been found face down, as the lava ash fell on them from behind. However, this skeleton was lying face up! Hence, archaeologists have come to the conclusion that he turned back while running towards the sea. “The general public we discovered right here in Herculaneum had been mendacity face down, however maybe he was making an attempt to succeed in the boat and rotated as a result of he heard the roar of a cloud speeding in direction of him at 100km per hour,” stressed Italian Archaeologist Francesco Cyrano.

Francesco Cyrano

Cyrano, the Head of the Excavation, explained: “The final moments right here had been immediate, however horrible. It was one within the morning when the pyroclastic wave brought on by the volcano first reached the town with a temperature of 300-400 levels, and even, in accordance with some research, 500-700 levels. A white-hot cloud speeding in the direction of the ocean at a pace of 100km in an hour that was so dense that there was no oxygen in it.

Earlier, archaeologists had found the remains of 300 people in that area. It seems that they had taken refuge in a relief camp near the sea. However, all of them died before being rescued. Cyrano and his team cut a thick layer of volcanic rock with metal blades to recover those skeletons, which had been lying under the rock for about 1,942 years. Archaeologists have compared the effect of the eruption of Vesuvius in AD 79 with that of the autumn of the atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima during the World War II.
According to Archaeologist Domenico Camardo, the pyroclastic surge brought on by Vesuvius was so scorching that the temperature is believed to have been between 400 and 500 degrees Celsius which was enough to boil the brains and blood of the victims of Herculaneum. In both cases, there is a great deal of similarity between the remains of victims.

Skeleton of the male victim

After carefully checking the ring he wore, the Italian specialists have come to the conclusion that he was not a rich man. “The ring is reddish, which implies iron, however there’s something inexperienced contained in the field that may be bronze,” stressed Archaeologist Ivan Varriale. He also said: “The field seems prefer it was used to retailer small change, and if that is all he was carrying, he most likely wasn’t wealthy.” The man may also have been an Army officer and a member of the rescue squad.

Camardo told the press that the eruption of Vesuvius covered Pompeii with a 3-4ft layer of lava ash. However, it was even more devastating in the case of Herculaneum. A volcanic eruption and a cloud of toxic gas hit this coastal city first, with the wave of lava, on its way from the top of the mountain, burning down the forest, settlements, and everything else. And then, about six waves of lava covered the city with a 20mt-thick layer. According to Camardo, almost everything that was crushed remained intact, as it was not possible for oxygen to enter inside the thick layer of lava.

Earlier in May 2021, the Italian archaeologists unearthed a palace-like structure, during an excavation in that region. Later, they found that the balcony of the house, the mosaics, the terracotta wine pots, kept in the balcony, remained intact. Meanwhile, Italian Minister of Culture Dario Franceschini has said that the ruins will be preserved for display once excavation is completed, as people will get an opportunity to know about the lost history of Herculaneum.

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