Pompeii ruins unearth 'master and slave' remains

Cheryl Sanders
November 23, 2020

It is the same area where a stable with the remains of three harnessed horses was excavated in 2017.

Casts of the skeletons have been made, according to the Archaeological Park of Pompeii.

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.

article image Remains of two victims of 79 AD volcanic eruption unearthed at Pompeii

"Up to now temples, houses, and other objects have been found that have aroused the curiosity of educated people, artists, and archaeologists; but now you, my dear Fiorelli, have uncovered human pain, and every man feels it".

The remains of the two victims, lying next to each other on their backs, were found in a layer of gray ash at least 6.5 feet deep, they said.

The skeletal remains were found in what was a corridor in a suburban villa near Pompeii. This technique gives the shape and position of the victims at the time of death, leaving the remains looking like statues. Officials at the archaeological site said crushed vertebrae indicated that he was a slave who did manual labour.


One was probably a man of high status, aged between 30 and 40, who still bore traces of a woollen cloak under his neck.

The officials stated that fragments of white paint were found near the middle-aged man's face that was possibly the remnants of a collapsed upper wall. They were found inside a side room of the cryptoporticus, a passageway below the villa leading to the upper floors, where they likely fled in an attempt to escape their fate.

"These two victims were perhaps seeking refuge when they were swept away by the pyroclastic current at about 9 in the morning", said Massimo Osanna, director of the archeological site.


Instead, on the morning of Octover 25, 79 AD, a "blazing cloud (of volcanic material) arrived in Pompeii and.killed anyone it encountered on its way", Osanna said. He appeared to have a mantle over his left shoulder in addition to a tunic.

The ruined city of Pompeii, 23km southeast of Naples, was home to about 13,000 people when the eruption of Mount Vesuvius buried it under ash, pebbles and dust, freezing it in time and preserving numerous city's ruins and remains.

While excavations continue at the site near Naples, tourists are now barred from the archaeological park under national anti-COVID-19 measures.


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