Mount Vesuvius famously erupted in 79 AD, killing at least 1,500 people in one of the most catastrophic natural events in history, although the total death toll is still unknown. They released a photograph showing the skeleton protruding from beneath a large block of stone, believed to have been a door jamb that had been "violently thrown by the volcanic cloud".
The victim, who was estimated to be over 30, suffered a crushed thorax. Workers restoring the ancient thermal area, discovered the skeleton, which is believed belongs to a child at the age of seven or eight years.
Initial studies suggest that the individual survived the first eruptive phase of the volcano, and subsequently sought salvation along the alley now covered in a thick layer of lapilli.
A leg injury may have slowed him down, rendering him unable to escape being crushed by the 300kg stone coming at him through the air.
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This collided with his upper body crushing the highest part of the thorax and yet-to-be-identified decapitated head that possibly lies under the stone block.
Adding further tragedy to the story, examination of the skeleton revealed lesions on his tibia, indicating he was suffering from a bone infection.
"This exceptional find reminds us of an analogous case, that of a skeleton discovered by Amedeo Maiuri in the House of the Smith, and which was recently studied", says Massimo Osanna, an archaeologist on the exacavation project.
The eruption of mount Vesuvius led to the burial of Pompeii under layers of ash caused by the volcano. However, to fully explore the dead city and they still failed.