‘Sensational’: skeleton buried in Vesuvius eruption found at Herculaneum

In what Italy's culture minister called a sensational discovery, the partially mutilated remains a man who was buried at Herculaneum by the AD79 eruption Mount Vesuvius at Herculaneum, an ancient Roman town near Pompeii, were discovered.
Archaeologists believe the man was between 40-45 years old and died trying to escape the eruption.

According to the Italian news agency Ansa, his skeleton was found at the beach of an ancient town. His head pointed back towards the sea and was surrounded by carbonised wood including a roof beam that could have broken his skull.

Francesco Sirano (director of Herculaneum archaeological park) told Ansa that the last moments were terrible and instantaneous.

The volcano's pyroclastic eruption reached the town at 1am. It had a temperature between 300-400 and 500 degrees. Some studies even suggested that it was as high as 500-700 degrees. The white-hot cloud raced towards the ocean at 100km/60 miles per hour. It was so dense it didn't have any oxygen.

Sirano stated that the man's bones had a bright red color, which was due to blood stains.

This discovery was made in the first archaeological dig at Herculaneum in nearly three decades. It is a smaller and less-known site than nearby Pompeii.

Excavations were made in the 1980s and 1990s to find the bones of more than 300 victims, piled up in boat sheds. These victims are believed to have been hiding while they waited for rescue by the sea.

Dario Franceschini is Italy's culture minister. The sensational discovery at Herculaneum of the remains of an escaped criminal is great news. First, the discovery is due to the resumption of scientific excavations by the ministrys technical team. This has been happening for almost 30 years.

Herculaneum was found under approximately 15m (50ft), of volcanic ash, until it was discovered during the excavation of a well in 1818.