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Charred Scroll Tells Lost Secrets of Plato

Advanced techniques help to virtually unwrap papyrus scroll buried by Mount Vesuvius

(Newser) - Read for the first time in nearly 2,000 years, an ancient papyrus scroll buried in ash after the AD79 eruption of Mount Vesuvius describes the final hours and burial place of the ancient Greek philosopher Plato. It's an "extraordinary outcome that enriches our understanding of ancient history,...

We Have Our First Clue From 2K-Year-Old Vesuvius Scroll

Luke Farritor of University of Nebraska-Lincoln nabs Vesuvius Challenge's 'first letters' prize

(Newser) - Artificial intelligence and two students half a world apart have deciphered the first word from ancient scrolls that were turned to charcoal and buried for nearly 2,000 years following the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD79. Discovered in the 18th century in a luxury villa in Herculaneum, the carbonized...

American Tourist Takes Selfie, Falls Into Mount Vesuvius
American Tourist
Takes Selfie, Falls
Into Mount Vesuvius
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American Tourist Takes Selfie, Falls Into Mount Vesuvius

Guides abseiled down to rescue him

(Newser) - Almost 2,000 years after Mount Vesuvius destroyed Pompeii and other Roman cities, an American tourist came close to becoming another volcano victim. Authorities say the 23-year-old man, who had been unable to book tickets online, took an unauthorized route to the edge of the volcano's crater and fell...

DNA Sequencing Solves Pompeii Mystery

Man who didn't try to flee had spinal condition, researchers say

(Newser) - Scientists say they have fully sequenced the DNA of a Mount Vesuvius victim for the first time—and the genetic information explains why the Pompeii resident didn't flee the eruption nearly 2,000 years ago. According to research published in the journal Scientific Reports , the man's DNA sequence...

This Vesuvius Victim 'Vaporized Instantly'

First skeleton found at Herculaneum in decades is stained red by blood

(Newser) - If you had to endure the AD79 eruption of Mount Vesuvius, Pompeii might not have been the worst place to be. While Pompeii residents are believed to have suffocated in a cloud of ash and gases in just 15 minutes, before they were covered in volcanic debris, new excavations at...

Vesuvius Killed in Minutes
Vesuvius Killed in Minutes
new study

Vesuvius Killed in Minutes

Researchers say people of Pompeii couldn't escape cloud of ash and gases

(Newser) - Vesuvius killed the 2,000 people of Pompeii quickly—in about 15 minutes, new research shows. They died not when lava reached them after the volcano erupted, but in a cloud of ash and gases, the Guardian reports; the victims had no escape and were unable to breathe. Most of...

Vesuvius May Have Turned Victim's Brain to Glass
Study of Vesuvius Victim's
Skull Reveals a Surprise
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Study of Vesuvius Victim's Skull Reveals a Surprise

Researchers say his brain turned to glass

(Newser) - The eruption of Mount Vesuvius may have most famously destroyed Pompeii, but the nearby town of Herculaneum endured a similar fate. Now a new study suggests that at least one of the town's residents suffered a remarkable, if grisly, fate: His brain essentially turned to glass, reports Live Science...

Pompeii Gives Up a 'Sorcerer's Treasure Trove'

So much for good-luck charms

(Newser) - There was perhaps no better place for good-luck charms than Pompeii circa AD79. Too bad they didn't quite work. Archaeologists combing the ancient Roman city discovered dozens of charms within a "sorcerer's treasure trove," encased in hardened volcanic material from Mount Vesuvius' eruption that year, per...

Harnessed Horse Unearthed in Pompeii Stable

General may have been preparing to flee

(Newser) - 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....

Small Inscription, Big Consequence for Ancient Pompeii

Newly found writing on wall suggests Vesuvius eruption came 2 months later than thought

(Newser) - A construction worker's ancient jotting on a wall might rewrite the history books. The wall scrawl suggests that the Roman city of Pompeii was destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in October of AD79, two months later than historians have long believed, reports the BBC . Uncovered by archaeologists...

Archaeologists Uncover 'Last Child of Pompeii'
'Extraordinary Find' Made
in Pompeii Bath House

'Extraordinary Find' Made in Pompeii Bath House

Child's body is the first uncovered in decades

(Newser) - Almost 2,000 years ago, a child sheltered in Pompeii's central bath house complex as nearby Mount Vesuvius erupted terrifyingly, spewing vast amount of hot ash and pumice. The child's body was undisturbed until this year, when archaeologists using ground-scanning tools were surprised to find it just inches...

4 'Bystanders' Who Changed History Forever

 4 'Bystanders' 
 Who Changed 
 History Forever 
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4 'Bystanders' Who Changed History Forever

Sometimes you're just in the right place at a significant time

(Newser) - The people who were actively involved in historical events are important, of course—but in many cases, so are the bystanders, the witnesses, the people who just so happened to be in the right place at the right, or at least a significant, time. Ozy looks at six such people...

Scientists 'Read' Words on Ancient, Burnt Scrolls

X-ray technology could lead to great literary finds

(Newser) - It's been centuries since a certain set of ancient scrolls was discovered in 1752, but their words have largely remained a secret. The 300-some rolled-up pieces of papyrus were in Herculaneum, a town pummeled by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79. The scrolls were left in a...

Italian 'Super Volcano' May Threaten Millions

Scientists plan to drill deep below Romans' 'hell gateway'

(Newser) - A hidden "super volcano" near Pompeii threatens an eruption that could make Vesuvius look like a picnic, scientists warn. The Phlegraean Fields zone of intense seismic activity—which the ancient Romans believed was the gateway to hell—could doom millions of people in the Naples area if it erupts,...

Herculaneum Sewer Reveals Roman Diet of 2,000 Years Ago

 Ancient Sewer 
 Roman Diet 
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Ancient Sewer Reveals Roman Diet

Scientists sift through waste to find veggie-heavy evidence

(Newser) - Researchers have discovered the biggest load of crap from ancient Rome, and they're using it to determine how Romans lived 2,000 years ago. After sifting through 750 sacks of human excrement discovered in the sewers below the town of Herculaneum, scientists have deduced that Romans ate a lot...

Google Street View Reveals Ruins of Pompeii
 Google Street View 
 Reveals Ruins of Pompeii 
time travel

Google Street View Reveals Ruins of Pompeii

New photos allow immersive experience of Italian ruins

(Newser) - Google's roaming photographers have found their way to ruins of Pompeii, and you can now tour the Italian archaeological treasure from the comfort of your own home using Street View. The Google Maps app, which creates an immersive 3-D environment from digital photographs, had previously focused on more traditional—and...

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