Pompeii archaeologists have made a striking new discovery amid the ruins from the 79 AD tragedy.
The skeletal remains of two men found this week marked the first discovery of human remains there since 2020.
One of the men was raising an arm, likely trying to stop a wall from caving in on him during an earthquake.
Pompeii archaeologists discovered the remains of two men believed to be killed during the Vesuvius earthquake and eruption in 79 AD, and their conditions may help unveil new wrinkles about the course of the tragedy.
The remains of two men in their mid-50s were discovered early this week by archaeologists in Insula dei Casti Amanti, an old neighborhood in Pompeii that included a bakery and homes, according to The Guardian.
Skeletal remains showed that one of the men likely died with his arm raised, trying to protect himself from a caving wall on the day of the historic volcanic eruption, per the report.
The two men, laying close to each other, died in the earlier stages of the volcanic eruption in a building that crumbled, archaeologists estimated, per The Guardian.
The intense heat from the volcanic eruption at the time incinerated and asphyxiated most of the victims and residents in the town within 15 minutes, according to The Guardian. It's still unclear what exactly killed the two newly-discovered men, or when in the process of the eruption and earthquakes they died.
The new remains show the "inferno" that residents suffered through at the time, Gabriel Zuchtriegel, the director of Pompeii archaeological park, told the outlet.
"Human mortality is so fragile," Zuchtriegel said, per The Guardian. "In Pompeii, the advancement of excavation techniques helps us to see more clearly the inferno that destroyed the city in two days."
Zuchtriegel added that the discovery is helping staff understand the extent of the seismic activity that accompanied the eruption, according to ABC.
The archaeological team, in their first discovery since 2020, also discovered six coins from the mid-second century BC, as well as necklace beads, in the same area as the men. During the same year, a well-preserved snack bar, decorated with colorful frescoes, was discovered and eventually opened for tourists to visit.
Excavations from Pompeii, which was buried under volcanic ash for centuries, started in 1748 — the same century that the ruins were discovered. According to The Guardian, some 1,500 of the 2,000 victims have been found so far.
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