Exploded skull. Died as victims of Vesuvius

Взрывался череп. Как погибали жертвы Везувия

The last day of Pompeii

Chemists and criminologists said the cause of death of some of the Roman residents of Herculaneum who died during the eruption of Vesuvius.

A new study of the remains of those killed in the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 showed that many of them head literally exploded.

The cause of death of the victims of the most famous and destructive volcano eruption in history was the boiling of the blood and soft tissues. Корреспондент.net tells details.


How to kill the Vesuvius

The eruption of Vesuvius was one of the most devastating disasters in history, which resulted in the elements for two days destroyed the Roman city of Pompeii, Herculaneum and Stabia, close to the foot of the volcano.

Estimated thermal energy released during the eruption, 500 times superior to the one that was freed in the explosion of the atomic bomb over Hiroshima.

Herculaneum, which was seven miles from Vesuvius, was buried under pyroclastic flows during the second wave of the eruption that happened in a few hours. Therefore, most of the residents of Herculaneum had time to escape.

Pyroclastic flow – a mixture of high temperature volcanic gases, ash and rock, moving at speeds up to 700 kilometers per hour and can reach temperatures of 800°C.

During the first phase of the eruption, in the afternoon of 24 August, a cloud of volcanic ash moved to the South-East and covered Pompeii and Stabiae.

However, several hundred residents chose to stay and took refuge from the eruption in boat sheds on the beach. Presumably, they died under a layer of hot ash or thermal damage, or from suffocation.

During excavations 1997-1999, the archaeologists found in the ruins of the boat hangars remains of approximately 80 people. Researchers estimate, they did not die from suffocation, and from the lightning shock. Part of the remains were charred, humans have been fractured and filled with ashes and some remains of traces of brown patina.

Italian chemists and forensics under the guidance of biologist Pierpaolo Petrone of the University of Naples Federico II has conducted a new study of the remains of the inhabitants of Herculaneum.

They drew attention to the mineral sediment of the red and black colors, which remained on the bones and skulls of the victims inside. Chemical analysis showed that it contains a lot of iron and its oxides.

According to scientists, this finding suggests that the blood and soft tissues of the body, including the brain, was instantly boiled and turned into steam by the high temperatures.

The bones of the skull could not withstand the pressure from the inside and burst, leading to instant death.

“This effect appears to be the simultaneous outcome of direct exposure to high temperatures and intracranial pressure of the steam caused by the boiling of the brain, and the explosion of the skull in the result,” – said in an article published in PLoS ONE.

In addition, the researchers noted that during the eruption, many residents tried to escape from the lava, the temperature of which ranged from two hundred to five hundred degrees Celsius in the coastal strip, but in the end they all got trapped and died.

Lame man, crushed by a stove

Archaeological Park of Pompei on may 29 reported that, during excavations, was found the skeleton of a man who tried to escape from the eruption. He managed to survive the first stage of the eruption, but it was crushed with a stone slab while trying to get out of the house.

The discovery was made in the fifth district of the city which has been excavated by about a quarter. This part of Pompeii, archaeologists have studied a little in the 19th and early 20th century, but overall it remains undeveloped.

In Pompeii have unearthed a pre-Roman tomb: photo

Earlier there are found houses of wealthy citizens – the judge and the banker. the area is located the building of the Corporation of the gladiators, which was the barracks and the facilities for training. Also, archaeologists using three-dimensional modeling has recreated the interior of the house usurer Lucius caecilius Ukunda.

The remains of a man found in the ruins of the house, on the height of the first floor. A preliminary study of the skeleton showed that he was more than 30 years. On the tibia of the man found traces of the infection, which caused him great pain and hurt to move.

Probably for this reason, he first tried to escape. Scientists have suggested that it outlasted the house the first phase of the eruption, during which the air is ejected ash clouds.

When he came out of the house, the neighborhood was covered with layer of volcanic rock. The man was stopped by a pyroclastic flow – a mixture of hot gases, ash and rocks, which dropped on his head a stone slab.

Starting to extract the skeleton, the scientists saw between the ribs three coins. When raised all the bones, it became clear that on the breast of the lame fugitive had a purse, decayed for two thousand years. A man wanted to carry 20 silver denarii and two bronze ACCA. This amount would be enough for a family of three for a few weeks.

Взрывался череп. Как погибали жертвы Везувия


The first conclusion numismatists, analyzed 15 coins from 22, are as follows: basically, the Republican coins, one quite old – the middle of the second century BC, there is a denarius with the sign 21 Legion of Mark Antony. Identified and runneymede two coins, one Augustan, the second – vespasiana.


Alive svalivsheesya horse

A little earlier in this area were found the ruins of the Roman stables, but also a kind of “mummy” of the horse, which is cooked alive under the ashes of Vesuvius. Prior to this, scientists had found only the remains of mules and donkeys, but a thoroughbred horse for the first time.

Scientists say that compared with modern horses, the horse of Pompey was relatively small, its growth reached only 1.5 meters at the withers. At the same time, she was considered tall in those days that tells about the existence of a strong horse-breeding tradition in the region.

Horse lame and the whole street. New discoveries of Pompeii

The ash perfectly preserved the features of this horse, including the shape of its ears, teeth and other body parts whose marks are not preserved in the sediments.

She also was rich in bronze and iron harness bit, that indicates its high value to the owner. It is, as scientists believe, participated in the race and the performances that took place regularly in Pompeii at the time.

Next found the remains of another horse, but they were heavily damaged by the partial collapse of the soil, which was caused by “black archeologists”, Prokopovich tunnel next to the Villa.

The Villa has 15 rooms, including several residential and industrial areas.


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