Vesuvius ancient eruption rescuer identified at Herculaneum, says expert

Vesuvius ancient eruption rescuer identified at Herculaneum, says expert
# 11 May 2021 18:45 (UTC +04:00)

Archaeologists in Italy believe they have identified the body of a rescuer killed in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius almost 2,000 years ago, APA reports citing BBC.

The skeleton, originally thought to be an ordinary soldier, was among some 300 found at Herculaneum in the 1980s.

It is now thought he may have been a senior officer in the rescue mission launched by historian and naval commander Pliny the Elder.

Herculaneum and the nearby city of Pompeii were engulfed by the eruption.

Buildings and bodies were encased in a flow of molten lava, mud and gas that fell on Herculaneum in AD79 at a speed of at least 80km/h (50 mph).

The man's remains were found face-down in the sand at the site to the north of Pompeii around 40 years ago.

Skeleton no 26, as it is known, is believed to have belonged to man aged between 40 and 45 and in good health, who was thrown to the ground by the force of the eruption. A boat was found nearby and it is now thought that the 300 other skeletons found massed on the beach were close to being rescued.

Francesco Sirano, the director of the archaeological site at Herculaneum, said the items discovered with the skeleton no. 26 suggest he may have played a more important role than originally thought.

"He may be an officer of the fleet that took part in the rescue mission launched by Pliny the Elder to help the people in the towns and villas nestled on this part of the Bay of Naples," Mr Sirano told Ansa news agency.