Archaeologists find two more bodies among the ruins of Pompeii

arstechnica.com
3 min read
fairly easy
Two more victims of the 79 CE eruption of Mount Vesuvius are accounted for.
Archaeologists found the remains of two men lying in an underground room in a large villa on the outskirts of the Roman city of Pompeii, in southern Italy, Reuters reports. Based on the condition of their skeletons and clues from preserved traces of clothing, one man appears to have been a wealthy person in his 30s, while the other was likely a slave or laborer in his early 20s. They died together at the villa of Civita Giuliana, probably while trying to flee or seek better shelter from a dense, fast-moving cloud of superheated volcanic gas and ash.

The rich man and the slave

The find brings the total number of human remains at Pompeii and Herculaneum (a few kilometers west along the Bay of Naples) to more than 1,500. Historians estimate that around 12,000 people lived in Pompeii and another 12,000 lived on the rich farmland nearby, but we don't know how many of those people died in the eruption or its aftermath.

And we know a surprising amount about those 1,500 people, because the thick layer of volcanic ash that entombed them also preserved the details of their final moments, along with hints about the lives that led up to those moments. Like many of the other remains at Pompeii, the two men in the villa lay in soft volcanic ash, which hardened around them and preserved the shape of their bodies long after their soft tissues had decayed. By making plaster casts of those impressions, archaeologists could see…
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