Archaeologists made an important discovery at Pompeii, revealing two additional skeletons of male victims who likely perished during the catastrophic eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79. The recent excavations took place in the “Chaste Lovers” block of buildings within Pompeii. It is believed that these two individuals, aged at least 55, were killed when an earthquake caused a wall to collapse in the room where they had sought refuge. Notably, one of the skeletons was found with an arm raised, indicating a defensive posture.
During the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, a massive explosion engulfed Pompeii in thick volcanic ash, preserving the bodies of numerous residents. Over the years, more than 1,000 human remains have been uncovered throughout the vast archaeological site. In November 2020, two bodies were unearthed, likely belonging to a young enslaved person and their possible owner.
The recently discovered victims, announced on Tuesday, are believed to have succumbed to multiple injuries resulting from the collapse of a section of the building. They were found in what appears to be a storeroom within the “Chaste Lovers” block. Previous excavations in this area have revealed colorful frescoes and the remains of mules used for grinding grain.
During recent excavations, two skeletons were discovered at Pompeii, positioned on their sides with their legs curled up. Notably, one of the skeletons was found wearing a ring on the left hand, providing a personal detail to the find.
Experts estimate that a significant portion of Pompeii’s population, around 15 to 20 percent, perished during the eruption. The primary cause of death for most victims was likely thermal shock, resulting from the enormous cloud of gases and ash that engulfed the city.
The destructive power of the eruption was further compounded by earthquakes, which occurred both before and during the volcanic event. These tremors, as described in letters by the Roman author Pliny the Younger, added to the toll of fatalities.
Gabriel Zuchtriegel, the director of Pompeii, emphasized that modern technology is aiding archaeologists in gaining a deeper understanding of the cataclysmic events that led to the complete destruction of Pompeii within a span of two days. This disaster claimed the lives of numerous inhabitants, including men, women, and children.
Adjacent to one of the victims, archaeologists discovered remnants of what appears to be a cloth bundle. This bundle contained necklace beads and coins, offering intriguing insights into the personal belongings of the individual.
Inside the room where the skeletons were found, an assortment of artifacts was present, including an amphora and a collection of bowls and jugs. Additionally, an adjoining room housed a domestic shrine depicted in the form of a fresco, while a narrow bathroom with a toilet was also identified.
The tragic scene within the room where the two men were located unfolded as a section of the wall collapsed, striking one of the victims. The raised arm of this individual likely reflects the desperate attempt to shield himself from the falling debris, encapsulating the harrowing circumstances they faced.
These findings provide further glimpses into the daily lives and living conditions of the inhabitants of Pompeii, immortalized in time by the catastrophic eruption of Mount Vesuvius