During the current excavation activities in Civita Giuliana, about 700 m northwest of Pompeii, in the area of the large suburban villa, where already in 2017 the servile part of the villa had been unearthed, of which the stable with the remains of three harnessed horses, two skeletons of individuals taken by the eruption of Vesuvius in the year 79 were found.
Situated just outside the walls of Pompeii in an affluent suburb, the villa was in an idyllic location, with baluster terraces overlooking the Bay of Naples and the nearby Isle of Capri.
Pompeii officials said the men apparently escaped the initial ash fall from Vesuvius and then succumbed to a powerful volcanic explosion that took place the next morning. The subsequent explosion "apparently invaded the area at many points, surrounding and burying the victims in the ashes."
The remains of the two victims, lying next to each other on their backs, were found in a layer of hardened gray ash at least 2 meters thick in a side room along an underground corridor, known in Roman antiquity as the cryptoporticus, which led to the upper level of the villa, where the victims were probably seeking shelter.
As was done when other remains were discovered at the Pompeii site, archaeologists poured liquid plaster into the cavities, or voids, left by the decaying bodies in the ash and pumice that rained down from the Vesuvius, and demolished the upper levels of the villa (according to the method of Giuseppe Fiorelli in the 1860s).
Pompeii - the bodies, after molding, and details on the shorts and the toga - photo Pompeii Archaeological Park.
Pompeii - Detail on the folds of the toga, after molding - photo Luigi Spina - Archaeological Park of Pompeii.
Judging by the skull bones and teeth, one of the men was young, probably 18 to 25 years old, with a spine with compressed discs, a sign of heavy labor, like that of a slave .
The other man had a sturdy bone structure, especially in his chest area, and died with his hands on his chest and his legs bent and spread apart (see video). He is estimated to be between 30 and 40 years old, Pompeii officials said. Fragments of white paint were found near the man's face, likely remnants of a collapsed upper wall, officials said.
“The cause of death was probably an heat shock, as also shown by the twisted position of their limbs,” Osanna said. "It is a touching discovery and an incredible testimony to these last moments."
Besides a better understanding of life at the time, the fact that warm clothes were found is one more indication to date the eruption in October.
Source: Pompeii Archaeological Park - Press release - "The Footprint of Pain". The victims of Civita Giuliana
"The Footprint of Pain". The victims of Civita Giuliana - vidéo Pompeii Archaeological Park.