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Skeleton of a disabled man who died 2,000 years ago found in Pompeii

The tragic skeleton of a disabled man who died during the cataclysmic eruption of Mount Vesuvius 2,000 years ago has been found in Pompeii.

The 35-year-old man was seemingly beheaded by a falling rock as he tried to escape the eruption, which is believed to have killed around 30,000 people.

An analysis of his right foot suggests he was disabled due to an injury that left him unable to escape when the volcano blew in 79 AD, burying the city in rock and ash.

The tragic skeleton of a disabled man who died the cataclysmic eruption of Vesuvius 2,000 years ago has been found in Pompeii (pictured)

A 300-kilo (660lb) stone presumed to have been fired through the air during the eruption landed on him and crushed his head and upper body.

The skeleton was discovered at a recently uncovered area of the Pompeii archaeological site, near Naples, Italy.

The doomed city’s Regio V area was found as part of new excavation work and scientists are exploring the region to find out more about life in ancient Pompeii.

Discovered lying on his back, the man’s skeleton apparently remains pinned down by the rock that killed him almost 2,000 years ago.

The director general of the Pompeii archaeological site, Massimo Osanna, called the discovery ‘dramatic and exceptional’.

The eruption of Mount Vesuvius buried the cities of Pompeii, Oplontis, and Stabiae under ashes and rock fragments, and the city of Herculaneum under a mudflow.

An early analysis of his foot (pictured) suggests he was disabled due to a leg injury that left him unable to escape when the volcano blew in 79 AD, burying Pompeii in rock and ash

An early analysis of his foot (pictured) suggests he was disabled due to a leg injury that left him unable to escape when the volcano blew in 79 AD, burying Pompeii in rock and ash

The 35-year-old man was seemingly beheaded by a falling rock as he tried to escape the eruption, which is believed to have killed around 30,000 people

The 35-year-old man was seemingly beheaded by a falling rock as he tried to escape the eruption, which is believed to have killed around 30,000 people

WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT THE DESTRUCTION OF POMPEII?

Mount Vesuvius erupted in the year AD 79, burying the cities of Pompeii, Oplontis, and Stabiae under ashes and rock fragments, and the city of Herculaneum under a mudflow.

Around 30,000 people are believed to have died in the chaos, with bodies still being discovered to this day.

An administrator and poet called Pliny the younger watched the disaster unfold from a distance. 

Letters describing what he saw were found in the 16th century.

Mount Vesuvius erupted in the year AD 79, burying the cities of Pompeii, Oplontis, and Stabiae under ashes and rock fragments, and the city of Herculaneum under a mudflow

Mount Vesuvius erupted in the year AD 79, burying the cities of Pompeii, Oplontis, and Stabiae under ashes and rock fragments, and the city of Herculaneum under a mudflow

His writing suggests that the eruption caught the residents of Pompeii unawares.

He said that a column of smoke ‘like an umbrella pine’ rose from the volcano and made the towns around it as black as night.

People ran for their lives with torches, screaming and some wept as rain of ash and pumice fell for several hours.

The Orto dei fuggiaschi (The garden of the Fugitives)shows the13 bodies of victims who were buried by the ashes as they attempted to flee Pompeii during the 79 AD eruption of the Vesuvius volcano

The Orto dei fuggiaschi (The garden of the Fugitives)shows the13 bodies of victims who were buried by the ashes as they attempted to flee Pompeii during the 79 AD eruption of the Vesuvius volcano

While the eruption lasted for around 24 hours, the first pyroclastic surges began at midnight, causing the volcano’s column to collapse.

An avalanche of hot ash, rock and poisonous gas rushed down the side of the volcano at 124mph (199kph), burying victims and remnants of everyday life.

A plaster cast of a dog, from the House of Orpheus, Pompeii, AD 79

A plaster cast of a dog, from the House of Orpheus, Pompeii, AD 79

Hundreds of refugees sheltering in the vaulted arcades at the seaside in Herculaneum, clutching their jewellery and money, were killed instantly.

As people fled Pompeii or hid in their homes, their bodies were covered by blankets of the surge.

While Pliny did not estimate how many people died, the event was said to be ‘exceptional’ and the number of deaths is thought to exceed 10,000.

Of the 1,150 bodies recovered by archaeologists at Pompeii, 394 were killed by falling pumice and debris from collapsed buildings.

The remaining 756 victims were killed by a column of superheated gas and ash called a pyroclastic surge.

The skeleton of a child who tragically perished in the eruption was uncovered in the ruins of a public baths in Pompeii in February.

A 300-kilo (660lb) stone fired through the air during the eruption landed on him and crushed his head and upper body

The eruption of Mount Vesuvius buried the cities of Pompeii, Oplontis, and Stabiae under ashes and rock fragments,  and the city of Herculaneum under a mudflow

A 300-kilo (660lb) stone presumed to have been fired through the air during the eruption landed on him and crushed his head and upper body 

Workers restoring the ancient thermal recreational area discovered the body, believed to belong to a child aged seven or eight at the time. 

The crouching child is thought to have been trying to take shelter from the ensuing cataclysm when they were overwhelmed by deadly volcanic gases, experts said.

Pompeii’s director Massimo Osanna said in a statement that the skeleton was found during work to shore up the main ancient baths in the sprawling archaeological site.

The skeleton was uncovered at a recently discovered area of the Pompeii archaeological site, near Naples

The skeleton was uncovered at a recently discovered area of the Pompeii archaeological site, near Naples

Of the 1,150 bodies recovered by archaeologists at Pompeii, 394 were killed by falling pumice and debris from collapsed buildings

Of the 1,150 bodies recovered by archaeologists at Pompeii, 394 were killed by falling pumice and debris from collapsed buildings

The skeleton was removed in April from the baths’ area for study, including DNA testing to determine its sex.

Professor Osanna said the skeleton might have been first spotted during a 19th-century excavation of the area, since the leg bones were orderly placed near the pelvis, but – for reasons unknown – wasn’t removed by those earlier archaeologists.

Speaking to La Repubblica newspaper, he said:  ‘This is an extraordinary find, in an area which we thought had been fully excavated in the 19th century.

‘What we can say from an early analysis is that the child was between seven and eight years old.’  

The skeleton of a child who tragically perished in the eruption was uncovered in the ruins of a public baths in Pompeii in February (pictured). The body is believed to belong to a child aged seven or eight at the time

The skeleton of a child who tragically perished in the eruption was uncovered in the ruins of a public baths in Pompeii in February (pictured). The body is believed to belong to a child aged seven or eight at the time

The crouching child is thought to have been trying to take shelter from the ensuing cataclysm when they were overwhelmed by deadly volcanic gases, experts said 

The crouching child is thought to have been trying to take shelter from the ensuing cataclysm when they were overwhelmed by deadly volcanic gases, experts said 



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