Two Skeletons Found in Pompeii Died in Earthquake, Not Volcanic Eruption

Today, two skeletal remains were found beneath a collapsed wall in Pompeii. Though the ancient Roman city is best known for its preservation following the 79 CE eruption of Mount Vesuvius, archaeologists believe the pair was likely killed by an earthquake that occurred beforehand.

Found under a collapsed wall in the Casti Amanti, or House of the Chaste Lovers, which contains several dwellings and a bakery, the two skeletons are believed to be men at least 55 years or older. Experts have determined that the wall collapsed before volcanic lava covered the area, as it was probably still under construction when an earthquake shook the region a few days prior to the Vesuvius eruption.

“In recent years, we have realized there were violent, powerful seismic events that were happening at the time of the eruption,″ Gabriel Zuchtriegel, director of Pompeii Archaeological Park, explained.

New archaeological techniques and methodology, he added, “allow us to understand better the inferno that in two days completely destroyed the city of Pompeii, killing many inhabitants.″

More than 1,300 remains have been identified at the Southern Italian archaeological site, which has not been fully excavated, since its discovery more than 250 years ago.

Current restoration efforts focus on the Insula Occidentalis, a section of lavish villas that at one time overlooked the sea.

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