The skeleton of a disabled man crushed to death by an enormous rock as he tried to flee the devastating explosion at Mount Vesuvius 2,000 years ago has been dug up in Pompeii.
The 35-year-old victim was seemingly beheaded by a hurtling stone that also crushed his thorax, experts claim.
But archaeologists have not been able to track down his head. Officials said the man suffered an infection of the tibia, which may have caused walking difficulties, hindering his escape.
The archaeological site’s general director, Massimo Osanna, called it “an exceptional find,” that contributes to a better “picture of the history and civilization of the age.”
Pompeii officials released an image showing the skeleton protruding from underneath a 300-kilo block of stone believed to be a door jamb.
They claim the “volcanic cloud” would have “violently thrown” the massive rock during the eruption that left around 30,000 people dead in 79 AD.
The skeleton was discovered at a recently uncovered area of the Pompeii archaeological site near Naples, Italy.
It follows a series of major finds over the past several weeks.
The body was found close to the alleyway of balconies unearthed earlier this month that experts plan to restore into their original state for public tours.
Before that, archaeologists dug up an ancient horse outside the city walls, to the north of Pompeii proper, which they were able to cast to complete its figure.
This process involves injecting liquid plaster into the cavities left behind when bodies encased in volcanic ash from the eruption decomposed.
The same technique has been used to recreate the final poses of dozens of Pompeii’s victims.
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