Archaeologists in the ancient city of Pompeii discovered the undisturbed skeletons of a small group of people sheltering from the devastating eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD
The Roman city was destroyed after the eruption when Pompeii was quickly buried was from volcanic ash, which according to History.com killed about 2,000 inhabitants of the city.
Massimo Osanna, archaeological director of Pompeii, said Wednesday that the skeletons are still intact after being left undisturbed.
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Osanna called it "a shocking find, but also very important to the story."
The bones – presumably those of two wives and three children – were found in a house containing a charcoal inscription that historians say killed two months later than previously thought.
Archeologists think humans sought security in a small space, but were either crushed when the roof collapsed or burned
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A Sacrificial Skull, by
The remains of a ring and other small objects were also found. Archaeologists believe that the space offered shelter from the first phase of the eruption when lapilli or boulders rained down on Pompeii. "They were then caught in one of the pyroclastic streams that overwhelmed the rooms of the house," officials said in the Facebook post. This caused the roof and upper part of the north wall of the room to collapse
The site of the ancient city remained untouched for more than 1500 years until its rediscovery in the 18th century. During the 19th century, archaeologists used gypsum to take casts of vacuums surrounding skeletons found in the compacted layer of ashes. Left behind by the decay of organic remains, the vacuums offer an eerie snapshot of the victims' last moments. National Geographic notes that the life-size poses of plaster casts show some victims, for example crawling or sitting with their heads in their hands.
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The newly discovered skeletons are only the latest fascinating find in Pompeii.
Earlier this year, the images of a skeleton of a man apparently smashed by a rock during the eruption became viral after their discovery. Archaeologists have recently found the final resting place of an ancient racehorse among the ruins of Pompeii.
A recent study recently revealed that at the outbreak of Vesuvius, the heat exploded the skulls of the victims and brought their blood to a boil.
Fox News Chris Ciaccia and The Associated Press have contributed to this article. Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers