Enlarge / All these items
were contained within a wooden box unearthed at the Archaeological
Park of Pompeii. (credit: Cesare Abbate (ANSA))
Crystals, amber, amethyst, phallic amulets, glass beads,
figurines, and a miniature human skull were among the many
archaeologists uncovered from an excavation site at Pompeii
recently. The objects were probably left behind by someone fleeing
the famous volcanic eruption in 79 AD—possibly even a sorceress.
The various objects will be displayed at the Palastra Grande in
Pompeii later this year.
“They are objects of everyday life in the female world and are
extraordinary because they tell micro-stories and biographies of
the inhabitants of the city who tried to escape the eruption,”
Massimo Osanna, general director of the Archaaological Park of
said in a statement.
The catastrophic eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD
wiped out several nearby towns and killed thousands of people.
The eruption released 100,000 times the thermal energy of the
atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, ejecting
many tons of molten rock, pumice, and hot ash over the course of
two days. In the first phase, immediately after the eruption, a
long column of ash and pumice blanketed the surrounding towns, most
notably Pompeii and Herculaneum. By late night or early morning,
pyroclastic flows (fast-moving hot ash, lava fragments, and gases)
swept through and obliterated what remained, leaving the bodies of
the victims frozen in seeming suspended action.
Source: FS – All – Science – News
Archaeologists discovered an invaluable cache of ritual artifacts at Pompeii