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What is the latest discovery at Mount Vesuvius? What else has been found over the years?

The eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD buried the ancient Roman city of Pompeii, freezing in time the city and unfortunate ones who were unable to escape.

Discoveries at Pompeii

Mount Vesuvius, the only active volcano in continental Europe, is quiet for the time being, but it has had eight major eruptions over the last 17,000 years. The most famous of those, that occurred in 79 AD, froze in time the city of Pompeii and the inhabitants which couldn’t escape or wouldn’t leave as the natural disaster unfolded.

As archeologists continue to dig through the layers of ash that have entombed Pompeii and thousands of its residents since that fateful event, they have uncovered numerous wonders and details of life in the city nearly two thousand years ago. As well, the discoveries paint a picture of just how terrifying and chaotic events must’ve been during the catastrophe eruption.

What is the latest discovery at Mount Vesuvius?

Excavations at Pompeii have been ongoing since 1728 and almost three hundred years later new discoveries are being made each year. One-third of the once bustling metropolis of some 12,000 people has yet to be unearthed. It is unclear how many people were killed by the ash, hot toxic gases and lapilli that rained down on the ancient Roman city but so far over 1,300 victims have been found.

Earlier this year a couple was discovered in ‘the House of Lovers’ which was undergoing work to improve the safety of the building. It showed the tremendous force of the earthquakes that occurred at the same time as the eruption that along with lapilli, pea-sized pellets of lava, brought down structures. Experts say that powdered lime found covering a stone kitchen counter in an adjoining room indicate that construction work was taking place at the time of the eruption.

In June, the discovery of a fresco, which appears to depict a flatbread the resembled pizza and various fruits on a silver tray, caused quite a stir. It was encountered in the hallway of a home with a bakery attached to it in the Regio IX area of Pompeii’s archaeological park.

What else has been found over the years at Pompeii?

Pompeii is one of several sites that were engulfed by the pyroclastic flows and lapilli that spewed from the Mount Vesuvius eruption in 79 AD. It is more famous than neighboring Herculaneum and Oplontis not only for its size but also the discovery of voids in the ash that preserved the memory of its inhabitants and everyday items. Researchers are able to fill these voids with plaster which can then be excavated and studied.

Over the years, numerous frescos have been uncovered in the buildings that were buried during the ancient natural disaster. Likewise, furniture and everyday items, such as those discovered in 2021 from an exceptionally well-preserved room used by slaves at the Civita Giuliana, in the suburban villa to the north of Pompeii. The room shined light on a part of the ancient world that usually remains largely in the dark, the daily reality of slaves.

The manner and suddenness of the event that entombed Pompeii has allowed for a near freezing in time of the ancient Roman city. That has given later generations the opportunity to see even the graffiti that seems surprisingly modern even to this day.