Dramatic volcano death: Massive flying stones broken man in Pompeii, archaeologists discover



660 lb flying brick killed a man in the center of Pompeii

Archaeologists have discovered the skeleton of a man crushed by 660 pound stone during the eruption of Mount Vesuvius.

The discovery of a skeleton at the famous archaeological site of Pompeii in Italy have revealed that the gruesome fate that befell one of the ancient victims of the eruption of Vesuvius.

A new excavation on the site unearthed the skeleton of a man who was crushed by a large block of stone while attempting to flee the eruption in 79 A. D.

In a Facebook post on Tuesday, officials stated that the man’s body had been “hurled back” by the power of the volcano’s pyroclastic flow — a mix of hot lava fragments, ash, pumice, and volcanic ash. “A formidable stone block (maybe a pole), violently thrown by the volcanic cloud, came in collision with his upper body, breaking the highest part of the chest and the still-not-identified head, which lie at a lower elevation of the lower extremities, and probably under the stone block,” they wrote.


A jamb is the vertical part of a door frame.

Anthropologist Valeria Amoretti work with a brush on a skeleton of a victim of the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in A. D. 79, which destroyed the ancient city of Pompeii, in Pompeii archaeological site near Naples, on Tuesday, 29 May 2018. (Ciro Fusco/ANSA, via AP)

From the initial analysis of the skeleton indicates that the man was more than 30 years. He also suffered from an infection of the tibia, which may have caused walking difficulties, impeding his escape.

Pompeii director Massimo Osanna drew comparisons between the human remains and a skeleton found at the site of the House of the blacksmith. “These were the remains of a flawed individual — he was probably hindered in his flight by motor problems, and left at the time of the in-situ,” he explained.


The skeleton is the latest gruesome find in the old city, which was destroyed after the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. Pompeii was quickly buried by the volcanic ash, killing approximately 2,000 of the inhabitants of the city, according to

The legs of a skeleton coming out of the ground under a large rock believed to have broken the victim’s bust during the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in A. D. 79, which destroyed the ancient city of Pompeii, in Pompeii, the archaeological site near Naples, on Tuesday, 29 May 2018. (Ciro Fusco/ANSA, via AP)

The site has remained unchanged for more than 1500 years until its rediscovery in the 18th century. During the 19th century, archaeologists used plaster to take casts of the vacuum which surrounded the skeletons found in the compacted layer of ash. Left behind by the decomposition of organic residues, the vacuum cleaners offer an eerie snapshot of the volcano victims’ last moments. National Geographic notes the plaster casts’ true-to-life postures and tone of some of the victims, for example, crawling, or sitting with the head in the hands.


Archaeologists recently unearthed the final resting place of an old horse among the ruins of Pompeii.

Earlier this year, the body of a child, who had apparently been sheltering in Pompeii’s central bath house complex, was found on the old site.

The Vesuvius, which is the only active volcano on the mainland of Europe, experienced its last serious eruption in 1944, according to LiveScience.

While no fatalities have yet been recorded in the current eruption of Kilauea in Hawaii, a man on the Big Island was recently hit by a flying piece of lava, and said that the molten rock nearly shaved his leg in half.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers

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