The "last fugitive of Pompeii" emerges from the excavations – Naples

Naples – Perhaps, if the sick leg had not slowed down its stroke, delivering its fate to the powerful fury of the flow of ash and lapilli, this limping man of about 35 years, one meter sixty five centimeters tall , he would have managed to save himself.
Instead, his skeleton is now returned, at a distance of almost 2,000 years, during the new excavations of the Regio V, in that precious casket, which never ceases to surprise, part of the construction site for securing the excavation fronts inside the ancient city , unveiled by the Great Pompeii Project.

What remains of the body of this man, devoid of head, was found at the intersection of the Vicolo delle Nozze d'Argento and the Vicolo dei Balconi . It was probably thrown back by the powerful pyroclastic flow, while the thorax appears crushed, probably by a large block of stone (perhaps a jamb) that, dragged violently by the cloud, would hit it in the upper portion .

From the first observations it appears that the man, who survived the early stages of the volcanic eruption, tried to reach the alley – now invaded by the thick blanket of lapilli – in the hope of being saved. The proof is the position in which the body was found, at the level of the first floor of the adjacent building, ie above the lapilli layer.
It was here that he would have been hit by the thick and dense pyroclastic cloud that would have him thrown backwards.

The presence of injuries at the tibia level indicates that the unfortunate was suffering from a bone infection that would have caused a difficulty in walking such as to prevent him from escaping the first dramatic signs announcing the eruption. Around the skeleton are preserved, almost intact, pieces of branches, scrubland, fragments of collapse dragged by the dramatic fury of the pyroclastic flow.

"This exceptional find – explains Massimo Osanna, director general of the Pompeii Archaeological Park – refers to the similar case of a skeleton found by Amedeo Maiuri in the house of the Blacksmith and recently studied. These are the remains of a limping individual, who was also probably prevented from escaping from motor difficulties and left at the time on site. Beyond the emotional impact of these discoveries, the possibility of comparing these discoveries, comparing pathologies and lifestyles, the dynamics of escape from the eruption, but above all of investigating them with tools and professionalism that are increasingly specific and present in the field , contribute to an ever more precise account of the history and civilization of the time, which is the basis of archaeological research. "

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