Published On: Mon, Oct 28th, 2019

Pompeii experts probe mystery ‘ancient safe’ found intact 2,000 years after disaster | World | News

Mount Vesuvius, a stratovolcano in modern-day Italy, erupted in 79 AD in one of the deadliest volcanic eruptions ever. A deadly cloud of superheated tephra and gases proliferated to a height of 21 miles, ejecting molten rock, pulverised pumice and hot ash at 1.5 million tonnes per second, obliterating Roman settlements and burying thousands under the burning rubble. More than 2,000 years on, experts are still piecing together the remains, including those found in what has come to be known as “Room 10”.

This house was discovered in the Eighties with a group of bodies plastered in jewellery, alongside another that appeared to be completely stripped of their possessions.

Now, archaeologists believe they may have solved the mystery, after finding an “ancient safe” which could have been ransacked when disaster struck, Channel 5’s “Ancient Mysteries” series claimed.

The narrator said last week: “In a wealthy suburb of Pompeii, experts are trying to solve a 2,000-year-old murder mystery.

“They’re investigating if a group of super-rich citizens were targeted by thieves as Mount Vesuvius erupted.

“Because there is evidence throughout that the population were doing all they could to protect their valuables from robbers.

“The most impressive example of this fear of violent theft was found at the warehouse where the two groups of bodies were discovered.”

Dr Kristina Killgrove, a bioarchaeologist, added: “At Oplontis, archaeologists found a very large, strong box that they think belonged to the owner of this large commercial area and it’s possible that person was found in Room 10 as one of the skeletons.”

Explaining the features of the box, the narrator continued: “This ornate strongbox was the Roman answer to the state-of-the-art home security system.

“It’s a clear indication of the lengths the wealthy were going to in order to protect their valuables.

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When Mount Vesuvius erupted in the first century, it released 100,000 times more thermal energy than the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. 

More than 1,000 people died in the eruption, but exact numbers are unknown. 

Vesuvius has erupted many times since, with the last coming in 1944, making it the only volcano on the European mainland to have erupted within the last 100 years.

Today, it is regarded as one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world because of the population of three million people living nearby. 

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