Ancient Roman turned down tragic death by volcano for a slapstick alternative

Some folks believe that when it's your time to go, you're gonna go, no matter what you do. Were he still able to speak, at least one former citizen of the Roman city of Pompei might have something to say on the subject. In a press release pushed out by Parco Arceologico Di Pompei, it was announced that archeologists recently uncovered the remains of some poor bastard that managed to survive the initial eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD, only to be crushed like a bug by a flying piece of stonework that was most likely tossed into the air by explosive volcanic gases which followed the eruption.

From Parco Arceologico Di Pompei, via Google Translate:

The chest crushed by a large block of stone, the body thrown back by the powerful pyroclastic flow, in a desperate attempt to escape from the eruptive fury. It is in this dramatic position that emerges the first victim of the site of the new excavations of the Royal V. The skeleton was found at the intersection of the Vicolo delle Nozze d'Argento and the Vicolo dei Balconi, recently discovered, which extends via di Nola. From the first observations, it appears that the individual who survived the early stages of the volcanic eruption, ventured in search of salvation along the alley now overgrown by the thick lap of lapilli. The body was in fact found at the first floor of the adjacent building, or above the lapilli layer. Here he was hit by the thick and dense pyroclastic cloud that threw him backwards.


Archeologists believe that the giant block of stone may have once been part of a doorway before it became a tombstone for its unfortunate victim. What makes this doomed fellow's story feel even worse is that, were it not for the fact that he was suffering from a debilitating bone disease, evident in his skeletal remains, he just might have escaped the city. Instead, limping as fast as he could, he was crushed by a massive piece of stone and left undiscovered for close to 2,000 years.

Image via Parco Arceologico Di Pompei