Skeletons found in Pompeii ruins reveal deaths by earthquake, not just Vesuvius' ancient eruption
A picture made available Tuesday, May 16, 2023 by the Pompeii Archeological Park press office, showing one of the two discovered skeletons that archeologists believe were men who died when a wall collapsed on them during the powerful earthquakes that accompanied the eruption of Mount Vesuvius that destroyed the ancient city of Pompeii in 79 A.D. The two skeletons were found in the insula of the Casti Amanti, beneath a wall that collapsed before the area was covered in volcanic material. (Pompeii Archeological Park via AP)
The Associated Press
Published Tuesday, May 16, 2023 7:44AM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, May 16, 2023 7:44AM EDT
MILAN (AP) — The discovery of two skeletons buried beneath a collapsed wall in the Pompeii archaeological site point to deaths by powerful earthquakes that accompanied the devastating eruption of Mount Vesuvius in the first century, experts said Tuesday, in addition to the victims of volcanic ash and gas.
The two skeletons believed to be men at least 55 years old found in the insula of the Casti Amanti, beneath a wall that collapsed before the area was covered in volcanic material. The area was undergoing reconstruction work at the time of the eruption in A.D. 79, following an earthquake a few days earlier.
“In recent years, we have realized there were violent, powerful seismic events that were happening at the time of the eruption,'' said Gabriel Zuchtriegel, director of the Pompeii Archaeological Park.
New archaeological techniques and methodology "allow us to understand better the inferno that in two days completely destroyed the city of Pompeii, killing many inhabitants,'' he added, making it possible to determine the dynamic of deaths down to the final seconds.
More than 1,300 victims have been found in the archaeological site south of Naples over the last 250 years.