MILAN -- Officials at the Pompeii archaeological site have announced a dramatic new discovery, the skeleton of a man crushed by an enormous stone while trying to flee thein 79 A.D. Pompeii officials on Tuesday released a photograph showing the skeleton protruding from beneath a large block of stone that may have been a door jamb that had been "violently thrown by the volcanic cloud."
The victim, who was over 30, had his thorax crushed. Archaeologists have not found the victim's head, which could still be underneath the huge rock. Officials said the man suffered an infection of the tibia, which may have caused walking difficulties, impeding his escape.
The archaeological site's general director, Massimo Osanna, called it "an exceptional find," that contributes to a better "picture of the history and civilization of the age."
Pompeii has become famous for the way victims of the eruption of Vesuvius, nearby, were frozen in time by the pyroclastic flow of gas and debris that swept over the town and then buried them in ash.
Researchers believe the man pinned under the massive stone may have been killed by the wall of gas and debris as he turned around to see it coming, then being hurled backwards and having the bolder land on top of him.