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Remains Of Rich Man And Slave Killed By Vesuvius Eruption Discovered In Pompeii

Remains Of Rich Man And Slave Killed By Vesuvius Eruption Discovered In Pompeii

The remains of a rich man and a slave killed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius 2,000 years ago have been discovered in Pompeii, Italy.

The ancient Roman city, near Naples, was destroyed by the volcanic eruption in AD 79, and our understanding of what took place is still being explained by discoveries such as this.

Archaeologists believe they are the remains of a rich man and a slave. Credit: PA
Archaeologists believe they are the remains of a rich man and a slave. Credit: PA

The bodies were unearthed from a 6.5ft layer of grey ash in the underground chamber of a large villa.

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Archaeologists have deduced that one victim was aged between 18 and 23 and likely to have been a slave, as he was found to have a number of crushed vertebrae, indicative of hard labour.

The other is estimated to have been between 30 and 40 and affluent, as traces of a woollen cloak were found beneath his neck.

The team used an ancient casting technique to reveal the form of the bodies. Credit: PA
The team used an ancient casting technique to reveal the form of the bodies. Credit: PA

Massimo Osanna, Director of the Archaeological Park of Pompeii, said: "These two victims were perhaps seeking refuge in the cryptoporticus, where instead they are swept away by the pyroclastic current at nine in the morning.

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The team used a technique pioneered in the second half of the nineteenth century, whereby a casting liquid is poured into the cavities left by the bodies.

Once the plaster has solidified, the surrounding soil is then removed, revealing in detail the form of the bodies.

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Dario Franceschini, minister for cultural heritage, activities and tourism, said: "This extraordinary discovery demonstrates that Pompeii is important in the world not only for the huge number of tourists, but because it is an incredible place for research, study, training.

"There are still more than twenty hectares to be excavated, a great job for the archaeologists of today and of the future."

It is not clear how many people lost their lives in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, but the remains of more than 1,500 people have been discovered thus far.

Pompeii is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and popular tourist destination, however, it is currently closed due to coronavirus restrictions.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: World News, Interesting, Italy

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Jake Massey

Jake Massey is a journalist at LADbible. He graduated from Newcastle University, where he learnt a bit about media and a lot about living without heating. After spending a few years in Australia and New Zealand, Jake secured a role at an obscure radio station in Norwich, inadvertently becoming a real-life Alan Partridge in the process. From there, Jake became a reporter at the Eastern Daily Press. Jake enjoys playing football, listening to music and writing about himself in the third person.