Harnessed Horse Unearthed in Pompeii Stable

General may have been preparing to flee
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 24, 2018 12:32 AM CST
Petrified Horse, Saddle Found in Pompeii Stable
An archaeologist inspects the remains of a horse skeleton in the Pompeii archaeological site, Italy, Sunday, Dec. 23, 2018.   (Cesare Abbate/ANSA Via AP)

Archaeologists have unearthed the petrified remains of a harnessed horse and saddle in the stable of an ancient villa in a Pompeii suburb. Pompeii archaeological park head Massimo Osanna tells the ANSA news agency that the villa belonged to a high-ranking military officer, perhaps a general, during ancient Roman times. Osanna said the remains of two or three other horses were also discovered. The area was previously excavated, during the early 1900s, but later re-buried, the AP reports. Osanna believes the general may have been preparing to either flee or help citizens during the volcanic eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79AD. Osanna says suffocating volcanic ash or boiling vapors killed the horses. He hopes the villa eventually will be open for public visits. (A recently discovered Pompeii fresco shows "explicit sensuality.")

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