The remains of a man who was killed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79CE were discovered by archaeologists, offering new insights into one of the most famous volcanic eruptions in history.
The man, who researchers believe was between 40 and 45 years old, was killed by a mob as he tried to escape from the ancient Roman town of Herculaneum, Italian news agency ANSA said.
He was carrying a wooden box with a ring, which could have been his most prized possession, The Times said.
Pompeii and Herculaneum were destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius.
Several images of the remains were released for the first time on Wednesday.
The director of the site said the last moments were terrible.
It was 1 am when the volcano produced a surge of molten rock that reached the town for the first time with a temperature of up to 700 degrees.
He said that the cloud was so dense that it had no oxygen in it.
Sirano said the man's bones were red because of the fire caused by the flow of magma, ash, and gas.
They would have burned off his clothing and killed him. "Death would have been instantaneous," said Pierpaolo Petrone, an anthropologist and archeologist.
A roof beam that could have crushed his skull was surrounded by heavy carbonized wood.
The skeleton looked like it had turned to face the cloud of hot gas and volcanic matter.
Sirano said that the man may have heard the roar of the cloud and tried to reach a boat.
The remains were found in an area where 300 people were unearthed in fishermen's shelters in the 1980s, likely waiting for a rescue by the fleet of Pliny the Elder.
The man's identity is being questioned by researchers who are wondering why he wasn't hiding. Sirano said he could have been a rescuer or soldier.
He could have been a fugitive who left the group to try and get on a rescue ship.
He was carrying a ring that some experts believe he was not a rich man.
Ivan Varriale, an archaeologist, told The Times that there was something green inside the box which could be bronze.
The box looks like it was used to keep change, and if that's all he was carrying, he may not have been rich.
The wooden box was once stored in a bag, and there were traces of fabric in the stone.
The seaside town of Herculaneum was favored by wealthy Romans thousands of years ago. Underneath the modern Italian city of Ercolano lies the ancient town.
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