Horse Found amid Ruins of Pompeii

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May 14, 2018

Fresh excavations of the ruins of Pompeii have turned up an ancient racehorse.

The Italian city was overwhelmed by lava and ash from Mount Vesuvius on August 24, A.D. 79. Most people fled. A few, perhaps as many as 2,000, stayed, hoping that things wouldn't get any worse. It did. The very next morning, a cloud of toxic gas, fumes from the volcano, wafted through the city, killing all who breathed it. A rockslide followed, burying the dead where they lay.

Pompeii horse

Archaeologists investigating grave robber tunnels found the large horse, lying on its left side, in a stables in the northern outskirts of the suburb Civita Giuliana, beyond the Roman walls. The stables were part of the Casa dei Casti Amanti, a villa owned by a rich family. Also found near the horse were a harness made of iron and bronze. Archaeologists have suggested that the horse might have been used for racing, not doing manual work.

The archaeologists have used liquid plaster to create the first-ever casting of a complete horse from Pompeii. Earlier researchers had found remains of donkeys and mules.

Also found during the stables excavation were the remains of a trough, part of a wooden bed and some kitchen utensils.

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