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Grim Pompeii volcano find shows man's weird death by stone

Grim Pompeii volcano find shows man's weird death by stone

Archaeologists working at the ancient site said the victim, who was at least 30 years old, had his thorax crushed in the impact.

The discovery of this skeleton near Pompeii in Italy suggests a man attempting to flee the 79AD eruption of Mount Vesuvius died in a odd fashion.

An initial analysis of the scene in Italy shows the victim likely survived the first phase of the volcano's eruption and went into an alley seeking shelter.

Archaeologists say the skeleton shows signs of a bone infection in his leg, which could have made walking hard. Excavations later revealed an extraordinarily detailed image of what life was like at that time.

It is believed that, due to a leg injury, he was unable to escape when Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD, burying the city in rock and ash.

The find, according to Pompeii's general director Massimo Osanna is an "exceptional find" one that will give the world a "picture of the history and civilisation of the age".

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The archaeologists assume the skeleton's head is still under the stone block.

They imagine the person, aged in his thirties, was making an attempt to flee the eruption of Mt Vesuvius when the 300kg rock slammed into him, beheading him and killing him immediately. The body was found at the first floor level of a building, above the lava layer.

But there he was hit by the massive stone block - perhaps a doorjamb - possibly hurled at him by the force of the pyroclastic flow.

Anthropologist Valeria Amoretti brushes dust off the unlucky victim.

"These are the remains of a limping individual, who was probably prevented from escaping from motor difficulties", Osanna said.

Pompeii has been a tourist destination for more than 250 years with approximately 2.5 million visitors flocking to the unearthed ruins every year.


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