The Remains Of A Small Child Hiding From The Terror Of Vesuvius 2,000 Years Ago Has Been Discovered In Pompeii

The child was found in a public bath area after attempting to seek shelter from the eruption of Vesuvius.

The remains of a child have been found in public baths in Pompeii.
Giorgio Cosulich / Getty Images

The child was found in a public bath area after attempting to seek shelter from the eruption of Vesuvius.

The fragile remains of a seven or eight-year-old child have been found cowering in a public bath area of Pompeii after trying to escape from the eruption of Vesuvius. This surprise discovery marks the first time in over 50 years that archeologists have found a child’s body in the city that was obliterated in 79 AD.

While pumice and ash flew through the air and many of the citizens of Pompeii were fleeing for their lives, this young child made their way to a place they felt certain would be safe, but even this building could not hold back the immense fury of Vesuvius, as The Telegraph reports.

Archaeologists are of the opinion that while the child was indeed initially saved from the large amount of debris that was flying through the air, in the end they finally succumbed to the heavy ash that blanketed Pompeii, which suffocated the child.

As the ash landed on the frightened child, once the rain began to fall this ash would have hardened considerably, leaving only the skeletal remains behind after this catastrophic event.

The body was found when archaeologists were using a scanning device in this particular area of the public baths, and noticed that the sensor picked up something unusual hidden beneath the surface of the soil.

Massimo Osanna, who is in charge of the Pompeii site, has explained that archaeologists had thought that the entire area had already been completely excavated, which makes this unique discovery all the more remarkable.

“This is an extraordinary find, in an area which we thought had been fully excavated in the 19th century. Thanks to new high-tech instruments, the last child of Pompeii has emerged from inside a previously unexcavated corner. The pyroclastic flow would have entered through the windows, as happened in Herculaneum, and sealed the whole space.”

While the child’s body was initially recovered earlier in February, it was only made public this week, and archaeologists have moved the skeletal remains to a safe location so that they can conduct DNA tests to determine the exact age of the child, as well as learning whether the child was male or female.

Even though out of 20,000 residents only 2,000 would have perished in Pompeii, it is thanks to technology today that we have the tools available to continue making discoveries like the recently found remains of one of these child residents of a city that continues to live on in many ways.