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Well-preserved skeleton sheds light on culture in ancient Pompeii

Archaeologists have uncovered a well-preserved skeleton at a burial website in Pompeii which has shed new mild on funeral rites and cultural exercise within the doomed, historic Roman metropolis, officers stated on Tuesday.

The physique of the person, believed to be in his 60s, was present in a tomb which dated to the ultimate many years of Pompeii, earlier than it was destroyed by the Vesuvius volcano in 79 AD. A commemorative inscription named the person as Marcus Venerius Secundio and made a reference to theatre performances at Pompeii in Greek – the primary time archaeologists have discovered direct proof of performs carried out there in Greek in addition to in Latin.

“That performances in Greek had been organised is proof of the vigorous and open cultural local weather which characterised historic Pompeii,” stated Gabriel Zuchtriegel, director of Pompeii’s Archaeological Park.

The park stated in a press release that it was the most effective preserved skeletons ever discovered on the website and confirmed indicators of partial mummification, with hair and an ear nonetheless evident on the cranium. Two cremation urns had been additionally discovered within the tomb enclosure. Adults had been usually cremated within the metropolis on the time, so the burial of Marcus Venerius is seen as extremely uncommon.

Archaeologists are investigating whether or not the person may need been embalmed forward of burial. Sure textiles are identified to have been utilized in embalming and archaeologists have discovered fragments of what is perhaps cloth on the website.

Marcus Venerius’s identify seems in one other metropolis archive, which recognized him as a public slave and a custodian of the Temple of Venus. He was later freed and his imposing tomb suggests he had reached a sure social and financial standing earlier than his loss of life.

The burial website is just not at the moment accessible to guests and lies past the town limits. Pompeii officers stated they had been trying into how they may open the world to the general public. Pompeii, 23 km southeast of Naples, was residence to about 13,000 folks when the volcanic eruption buried it below ash, pumice pebbles and dirt, freezing it in time. The location was not found till the sixteenth century and organised excavations started round 1750. A current burst of archaeological exercise, aimed toward halting years of decay and neglect, has enabled students to uncover areas which have beforehand remained buried below the volcanic particles.



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