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He Fled the Ash That Buried Pompeii, Only to Be Crushed by a Rock

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tags: Pompeii, Archeology



The man, believed to be in his 30s, was fleeing the spectacular explosion of Mount Vesuvius that buried the Italian city of Pompeii in A.D. 79.

He had an infection of the tibia that may have made walking difficult, archaeologists say. So while he fled the first furious eruption, when the volcano fully rumbled to life after being dormant for more than 1,500 years, he did not get very far.

The man died not in contorted agony, buried in pumice and ash, but by decapitation from a large block of stone that had most likely been propelled through the air by volcanic gases, crushing his thorax and his head.

Officials at the Pompeii archaeological site announced on Tuesday that they had found the man's remains, almost 2,000 years after he died. They released a photograph showing the skeleton protruding from beneath a large block of stone, believed to have been a door jamb that had been “violently thrown by the volcanic cloud.”

Read entire article at NYT

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